Just last week we reported that a major Chinese insurance company was beginning to offer “Smog Insurance” coverage that would refund small sums to people whose vacations had been ruined (or at least dirtied) by high AQIs. Well now the program has been called off, after China’s Insurance Regulatory Commission decided that gambling on AQI levels for a sum of money was, well, gambling.
“The current unavailability of scientific data on smog weather and smog-related diseases make the [insurance] product suspicious,” the head of China’s Central University of Finance and Economics’ School of Insurance told South China Morning Post, “It does look like a lottery to some extent, especially considering its low charge.”
Smog Insurance, we hardly knew thee. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission worried that the unpredictability of smog, coupled with the low cost of the insurance itself and comparatively high premium would encourage buyers to throw-down money in hopes of getting a pollution bonus. In certain cities (looking at you, Beijing) this is probably less like gambling and more of a sure bet.