GUANGZHOU, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Commercial insurance will cover elderly care service in south China's Guangdong Province.
It was the first such attempt by local authorities to help elderly care institutions cope with operating risks.
Guangdong's Department of Civil Affairs recently signed a three-year contract with a coinsurer, which is composed of several local insurers including the provincial branch of PICC Property and Casualty Company Limited (PICC P&C) -- China's largest general, non-life insurer.
The province's elderly care institutions will receive up to 25 million yuan (about 3.6 million U.S. dollars) for patients' personal injuries due to the provider negligence and resulting legal fees, said an official with the provincial branch of PICC P&C.
The local insurance regulator said the contract will help protect the legal interests of the elderly and promote sustainable development of elderly care institutions.
Official data showed that Guangdong had 2,966 elderly care institutions which could accommodate about 205,000 elderly people as of April 2016.
China's aging society is a major social issue. There are currently more than 220 million people over 60 years old in the country, 16.1 percent of the population, and the numbers are growing.
Authorities have said they will streamline the approval process for elderly care institutions to address challenges brought by the aging population.