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Chinese insurers offer smog policies

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SHENZHEN, March 19 (Xinhua) -- China's insurers have rolled out new smog-focused health insurance policies in response to the air pollution that has stirred up worries among most Chinese.

Ping An Insurance (Group) of China Ltd. on Wednesday announced its move to introduce insurance for residents of or visitors to seven Chinese cities to compensate if they encounter smog.

Users in seven cities include Shijiazhuang, capital city of north China's Hebei Province, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou can insure themselves against air pollution, and they will get paid off if the Air Quality Index (AQI) hits more than 300 for more than three days.

Those who purchase smog health insurance can pay a premium of 100 yuan(16 U.S. dollars) and receive medical examinations to check their lung functions when the AQI exceeds 300 for five consecutive days.

Under China's assessment system, an AQI value under 50 represents excellent air quality and a value between 50 and 100 represents fine air quality. An AQI value over 100 is unhealthy and one over 300 is considered hazardous.

The People's Insurance Company (Group) of China Ltd., the nation's largest insurer, also launched an insurance policy on Tuesday to compensate Beijingers made ill by air pollution with up to 1,800 yuan.

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