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'Smog insurance' offers to help Chinese breathe easier

Published on Mar 19, 2014 2:09 PM
Women wearing masks make their way amid the heavy haze in Beijing on Feb 23, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese companies have offered up a fresh idea to help pollution-weary travellers while cashing in on public concerns over dirty air at the same time - smog insurance.

The country's top online travel agency and the leading insurer Ping An have "started to sell haze travel insurance", the state-run China Daily reported.

The fresh idea comes as popular frustration mounts over the dense smog that frequently cloaks wide swathes of the country, prompting national leaders to confront the issue after years of downplaying it.

In the insurance scheme, in exchange for premiums of 10 to 15 yuan (S$2.04 to S$3.06), Ctrip and Ping An have promised to cough up as much as 50 yuan a day to travellers subjected to hazardous skies.

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