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October 31, 2012

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Good Samaritans get an insurance policy

A SHANGHAI-BASED insurance company launched a product yesterday to protect good Samaritans with compensation of up to 100,000 yuan (US$16,000) to encourage good conduct in society.

The good Samaritan policy, 60 yuan per year per policyholder, provides three hours of emergency rescue training, legal aid, third-party liability, medical expenses up to 5,000 yuan and accident insurance of 100,000 yuan, Dazhong Insurance said yesterday.

So far the product is only available for companies to purchase for their employees, but Dazhong did not rule out the possibility of offering it to individuals in the future.

Peng Dezhi, executive director of Dazhong, said a recent online survey found 43 percent of people chose to walk away when seeing a senior fall in the street, 55 percent dare not help though they want to and only 2 percent offered help.

"People are afraid of helping others in distress after hearing so many stories of how good people were injured or accused as the bad guy," Peng said. "We want the warm-hearted residents to be protected and we hope companies will encourage their employees to help people in need."

Peng added that no such insurance policy exists elsewhere in the world, saying the law protects good Samaritans in the United States.

Liu Jiahao, who works in human resource client services for China International Intellectech Co, said the insurance product may not prove to be so popular.

"Although it's cheap for each person, it adds up to a big expense for large companies to cover every employee," said Liu, who provides insurance consulting and sales service for 39 companies in China.

Chen Hao, government official in charge of the evaluation of the city's good conduct prize, said the product is "a good thing" while at the same time was confident about the government's guarantee for good people.

"We also cooperate with insurance companies and once a resident is confirmed as having been injured while trying to save someone, compensation can reach 250,000 yuan," Chen told Shanghai Daily.

"We also provide medical care for up to 40,000 yuan and you don't have to pay any insurance fee."


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