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China Daily Website

Poultry farmers struggle to find insurance

Updated: 2013-04-18 10:10
By Hu Yuanyuan ( China Daily)

Poultry farmers say they are struggling to get their businesses insured, following the recent outbreak of H7N9 bird flu.

Zhang Bing, a breeder from Beijing's suburbs, said it has been a frustrating experience in recent days, due to the shortage of such products on the market.

The price of eggs has dropped 20 percent since the outbreak of H7N9 bird flu last month, and the price of chicken has also fallen by around 30 percent.

"I've lost more than 100,000 yuan ($16,000) so far," Zhang said.

"I thought about buying agricultural insurance and went to several insurance companies, but I was turned down by them all due to the high risks."

Zhang said larger-scale poultry operators need to be offered subsidies from the government to afford to take out agricultural insurance.

A number of insurers such as Ping An Property & Casualty Insurance and Taikang Life Insurance, offer policies targeting H7N9 bird flu, but all are classified as life insurance.

According to Wang Tian, the head of sales for Ping An's H7N9 bird flu insurance policy, the company sold around 500 policies in the past three days, after the product was launched on April 12.

The insurer is among the first batch of insurers to develop such a product. As the product is only sold online, it is hard to estimate where buyers are coming from, Wang said.

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