Since February, dozens of Chinese property-and-casualty insurers have rolled out new policies or expanded existing ones to provide compensation when workers contract Covid-19. The moves by Chinese insurers stand in contrast with the stance of many global property-and-casualty insurance companies, which have excluded infectious-disease epidemics from most standard business-interruption policies and avoided having to make large payouts.
Chinese insurers are offering these policies in part because they want to be good corporate citizens, said Michael Powers, a risk mathematics professor at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management. “There’s more cohesion and a sense of unity and shared sacrifice in response to the pandemic,” he said. Chinese state-owned insurers, such as the country’s largest reinsurer China Re Group, have also thrown their weight behind the initiative, according to Leonard Li, a Hong Kong-based partner at consulting firm Oliver Wyman.