The People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC)
PICC was established in 1949 by the Chinese government as a nationwide wholly state-owned insurance company. Today, PICC remains a 61% state-owned enterprise.
In March 2009 the Microinsurance Innovation Facility awarded an innovation grant to PICC to support the introduction of a migrant worker personal accident and health product and to learn about how to:
- Establish a more effective distribution channel
- Introduce a ‘locally insured, non-locally compensated’ system to improve portability of the policy
- Raise migrant workers’ awareness about and knowledge of insurance
- Collaborate with local government entities to promote change in the current social insurance system
The product targeted migrant workers, which in China refers to farmers who have left the countryside to find jobs in the cities. This is a special group whose members are considered rural residents in the household registration system and own farmland according to the land contract system, but now do non-agricultural work and live on wages.
For the most part, migrant workers lack any basic government-provided social safety net and receive few or no social security funds. Those who receive pensions or medical benefits find it very difficult to transfer the benefits to their home because cross-province transfer of social security is not yet available in China. Migrant workers, who are among the poorest in the population, therefore have to rely on their own accumulated funds rather than social security.
Favorable policy environment in China
The overall policy environment in China was favorable for the development of insurance for migrant workers. The government’s spending on agricultural and rural support had increased substantially in the preceding years, meaning that local governments were more likely to provide support to migrant workers, including subsidies for commercial insurance.
Date of last Learning Journey update: September 2012