Scared of smog in China? Breathe easy with haze insurance.
China's smog situation is so bad that the government is even considering using drones to fight it. In the meantime, to encourage travelers to visit areas known to be plagued by smog, China's largest travel agency Ctrip is offering haze travel travel insurance to guarantee tourists haze-free days for sightseeing.
Ctrip is collaborating with China's Ping An Insurance Group to sell the haze insurance. Ctrip's customers who buy packaged tours or backpack tours lasting three to seven days can buy the insurance. The insurance is available for six most popular cities right now: Beijing, Xian, Harbin, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shaghai. The insurance premium is priced at 10 yuan (or US$1.60). If the tourists suffer for at least 2 hazy days, they will be able to file claims up to 50 yuan (US$8) per day per person.
However, the problem is not just about the inability to see sights, it has been reported that air pollution levels in China's most populous cities are 24 times higher than the level deemed safe by the World Health Organization. The main cause of the problem is the heavy use of coal-fired power stations which pump fumes and pollution matter into the sky.