Love cover: China couple sue insurance firm for refusing to honour policy with RM6,500 payout for decision to live happily ever after

Insurance company claims love is uninsurable. More than 15,000 people sign up for ‘love insurance’. — SCMP

A married man in China who successfully sued an insurance company for failing to honour a “love insurance” policy that had a marriage payout of 9,995 yuan (RM6,552 or US$1,400) has attracted much support on mainland social media.

Liu Xiaoming, from Sichuan province in southwestern China, bought the insurance policy in March 2018 as a surprise for his girlfriend.

The couple first met in high school and their relationship started when they both went to university.

The policy stipulated that if the couple married between three and 10 years after the policy was purchased, specifically between March 2021 and March 2028, they would receive a payout of 9,995 yuan (RM6,552).

However, after the couple tied the knot on Dec 1, 2022, and submitted the required claim documents, the insurance company refused to pay, despite multiple complaints.

The policy was advertised widely and had offered varying levels of “love” premiums. Photo: The Paper

Liu told Jimu News that many consumers had purchased this “love insurance” and the company’s own promotions said more than 15,000 people had placed orders for the policy.

According to the company’s official Weibo account at the time, three tiers of love insurance were available, with premiums ranging from 99 to 297 yuan (RM65 to RM195), and up to 495 yuan (RM324).

The 99-yuan tier had a payout of 1,999 yuan (RM1,310), but Liu had opted for the 495-yuan tier, the highest level, with a payout of 9,995 yuan (RM6,552).

Frustrated by the insurance company’s refusal to pay, Liu took his case to court, seeking the insurance payout along with late payment penalties.

He lost the first trial because the court agreed with the company’s defence that love was an emotional relationship which does not fall within the scope of insurance regulations and the insurance contract was therefore invalid.

Dissatisfied with the initial judgment, Liu appealed to the Beijing Financial Court for a second trial.

The Financial Court evaluated the case from a fresh perspective, stating that the insurance wasn’t related to a “love relationship” but rather to the financial interests that might arise from wedding preparations, which are considered legitimate under the law.

Furthermore, the basic principles of insurance mandate that the subject covered by an insurance contract must be uncertain.

A love relationship, with uncertainty concerning whether and when a couple would eventually marry, aligns with these principles.

Finally, the court upheld Liu’s appeal and ordered the insurance company to pay him 9,995 yuan (RM6,552).

Public sentiment remains critical of the insurance company, with many online observers sharing their experiences.

The man’s legal battle with the insurance firm ended when he won the case on appeal. Photo: Shutterstock

“I have personally experienced disputes with this company. They don’t pay cancer insurance policies, you have to sue them to get compensation,” one person said.

“Shouldn’t he sue the insurance company for commercial fraud?” said another, while a third remarked: “This is really terrible!” – South China Morning Post

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