Ningbo extends insurance coverage to help foreign trade enterprises

Updated:2020-03-04 (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Ningbo has extended its epidemic prevention insurance coverage to help enterprises ward off risks when resuming operations amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The city in East China's Zhejiang province issued the country's first epidemic prevention insurance targeting small and micro-sized enterprises on Feb 19.

On March 2, insurance coverage was extended to all foreign trade enterprises in Ningbo, which is expected to benefit more than 25,000 businesses.

The premium with a term of six months ranges from 12,000 yuan ($1,791) to 200,000 yuan. Applicants can receive a maximum of five million yuan on the condition that they have been forced to shut down due to the statutory infectious disease.

The move came after the local market's reaction to insurance targeting small and micro-sized enterprises was overwhelmingly positive.

As of Feb 24, a total of 2,642 small and micro-sized enterprises in Ningbo had applied for the insurance, with another 800 intending to apply.

Unlike the insurance for foreign trade enterprises, premiums for small and micro enterprises are set at just 2,000 yuan, half of which will be covered by government subsidies.

Insured enterprises will be granted 3,500 yuan per day, capping at a total of 100,000 yuan, if they are forced to suspend operations due to the epidemic.

In China, a small or micro-sized enterprise is defined as an enterprise with fewer than 300 employees, an annual revenue of less than three million yuan, and total assets of less than 50 million yuan.

"If just one of our employees is infected, all of our employees will have to be quarantined and the factory will be shut down for at least half a month. The losses are inconceivable," said Wang Jianping, president of Ningbo Hongte Industrial Co Ltd.

The company, which specializes in the production and sale of building hardware, became the first small or micro-sized enterprise in the city to be included in the epidemic prevention insurance program.

The insurance gave him the confidence to resume production amid the outbreak, Wang added.

To date, a total of 1,986 companies in Ningbo with a combined annual import-export value exceeding $10 million have resumed production, with more than 70 percent of employees returning to work.

The city's imports and exports soared 6.9 percent, surpassing 900 billion yuan in 2019, according to official data.