Red roses. Photo: Pexels
Red roses. Photo: Pexels

She loves me, but I bought an insurance policy

Young Chinese pay US$43.45 to boost their chances of winning their partner's commitment to get to the altar

February 11, 2017 6:30 AM (UTC+8)

Once upon a time boy meets girl, marries girl and then lives happily ever after. But if one of you wants some sort of guarantee then you should take out love insurance. In the West, this may be an odd concept but in China this idea has been around since 2015.

Three years after taking out the 299 yuan (US$43.45) policy, couples have a 10-year window to tie the knot. If they fulfil the terms, the happy couple will be given 10,000 Carola roses from Yunnan province on their wedding day.

This is what one of the biggest insurer’s on the mainland – China Life – offers in its policy. China Life is not the only company offering love insurance as social media chat groups have mentioned that other firms had offered half-carat diamonds, but the gems are now no longer available.

Since it emerged in 2015, young Chinese couples have embraced the idea and some even give love insurance certificates as gifts during Chinese or Western Valentine’s days. Chinese Valentine’s Day is always on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, which happens to be on Saturday.

Screenshot of the ads of the love insurance. Photo: ec-1.chinalife-p.com.cn
A screenshot of adverts for love insurance. Photo: ec-1.chinalife-p.com.cn

“The present is so romantic and serious, meaning that my boyfriend is promising a lasting commitment with me,” said He Yuan, who shared her happiness after having received a red-covered certificate embellished with gold lettering – “Love Insurance” on Zhihu, a Chinese question-and-answer site.

The certificate contains information such as the couple’s names, their ID numbers and a QR code of the digital policy, which is delivered to people after they process the payment and also serves as a proof to be able to claim the 10,000 roses.

Move your mouse over the love hearts below

However, the authenticity of the insurance has been questioned, because the product is not officially listed on China Life’s website. Search results on the company’s online shop could find no mention of love insurance.

“I first saw my friend share the ads on WeChat [Chinese biggest instant messaging app],” said Cheng Xu, a postgraduate student from Guangxi autonomous region, who recently bought love insurance. To avoid online fraud, Cheng called the customer service department of China Life to confirm the prodcut’s details. He was relieved after he successfully checked the policy number on the company’s website.

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Screenshot of the love insurance page on WeChat. It says order before Valentine’s Day to get a free apple weighing 600 grams. Photo: via WeChat

“It is a kind of new insurance we introduced that only lives on mobile devices,” said the Beijing Bureau of China Life Property & Casualty Insurance Company,  confirming that it did exist. “It is adapted to the consuming habits of young people.”

College students like Cheng, as well as active duty soldiers will enjoy the preferential price  of 199 yuan. Compared to a bunch of roses at the festival, which could cost more than 200 yuan on the market, the product seems to be a great deal for young lovers.

Whether these college-aged lovers could pass the test – to stay in the committed relationship for three years and actually tie the knot within the decade-long window, is what the insurer is betting on.

A survey conducted by the Social Survey Centre of China Youth Daily in 2015 provided a picture on college romances in modern China. It found that 70.7% of the 1,587 respondents agreed that it is quite common for graduates to break up. Only 10.1% think the relationship could continue after they left college.

“Love insurance is more like icing on the cake,” said Cheng, “it could do very little to help strengthen a relationship.”

However, if your romance ends in disaster there is still some consolation because the policy comes with accident insurance, which lasts three years.  Only the person who paid for the policy is eligible and can receive a 10,000 yuan payment if he or she is injured.

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