People's Insurance Company of China (PICC) is to offer cover against health risks caused by air pollution, promising to pay out CNY1,500 ($240) to Beijing-resident policy holders who are forced into hospital as a result of breathing Beijing's smog.
The policy will also pay out CNY300 on a non-indemnity basis, when the city's official smog index exceeds 300 for five consecutive days. That level is considered "hazardous" according to Beijing's official air quality index (AQI). The index measures airborne pollutants including particulate matter and sulphur dioxide. It often goes above 300, and has occasionally exceeded 500. The policy is available for people aged between 10 and 50,
Chinese premier Li Keqiang said in early March that Beijing was the front line of the war against air pollution. Heavy traffic and surrounding factories in Hebei can make the sky hazy on the sunniest of days. If there is a lack of wind, air pollution levels can soar.