Several insurers have launched a protection plan in Guangdong, the southern Chinese province of China, to cover property damage or personal injury caused to third parties by those who suffer from serious mental disorders.
The insurance is provided by a consortium of six insurance companies, including the Guangdong unit of Ping An. The plan is promoted by the Guangdong Insurance Regulatory Bureau and seven other agencies, reported the Xinhua News Agency.
The plan is targeted at around than 530,000 households registered as having at least one family member who suffers from serious health mental problems.
The annual premium payable under the plan is paid out of financial aid provided to those who look after those with mental disorders. The premium ranges from CNY100 (US$15.10) to CNY500 a year. The annual compensation limit is CNY600,000 to CNY1.8 million, depending on the premium paid.
The insurance brokerage, Jiangtai, runs a claims processing centre for the consortium, carries out damage assessment and helps the insured with claims, if any.
According to statistics provided by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, 5.4 million people were registered as having a serious mental illness across China at the end of last year. 75% of them were diagnosed as schizophrenic. However, the commission estimates that the total number of people with some form of mental illness could be more than 100 million.
In many parts of the country, people with serious mental illnesses receive preferential reimbursement for medical treatment through the government's basic health insurance programme, while outpatients can obtain free basic medication in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Changsha, Hunan province, according to the commission.