Insurance Coverage for Human Infections of The Deadly H5N1 Strain of Bird Flu.

A Chinese insurer is set to be the first in the country to offer coverage for human infections of the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu.

Minsheng Life Insurance said it has secured the approval of the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, the industry watchdog, to sell the products “very soon.”

Chen Jijun, a manager of the Beijing-based company, said yesterday that it has designed two products targeting individuals and groups.

Beneficiaries of the 200-yuan (US$24.7) policy in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen will be eligible for a payout of up to 100,000 yuan (US$12,400) if the holder dies of bird flu.

Residents in the rest of the country can buy a 100-yuan (US$12.3) policy with a maximum payout of 50,000 yuan (US$6,200).

The group product targets government institutions, enterprises, associations or families.

Wang Guojun, a professor who teaches insurance matters at Beijing’s University of International Business and Economics, said products targeting a specific illness would entail much lower premiums than general insurance.

However, insurers would have to pay out for bird flu deaths even for general policy holders, he added.

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