Mar­riage in­sur­ance may be a long shot

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHOU WENTING in Shang­hai zhouwent­ing@ chi­

An in­sur­ance prod­uct that costs 599 yuan ($90) and guar­an­tees a pay­out of 10,000 yuan if the ap­pli­cant mar­ries his or her cur­rent sweet­heart in three to 10 years be­came a hot topic ahead of Tues­day’s Chi­nese Valen­tine’s Day.

The ap­pli­cants are re­quired to sub­mit non­mar­i­tal sta­tus cer­tifi­cates for both prospec­tive spouses when pur­chas­ing the prod­uct. If they get mar­ried within the spec­i­fied time frame, they will get 10,999 yuan.

A woman sur­namedWang who works in the cus­tomer ser­vice depart­ment of China Taip­ing In­sur­ance Hold­ings Co said there have been nu­mer­ous phone calls lately in­quir­ing about the prod­uct, but she de­clined to say how many poli­cies have been sold.

Some peo­ple saw the of­fer as smart mar­ket­ing.

“The price is no dif­fer­ent from a reg­u­lar gift I’d give to a girl­friend, but it may make the girl feel that it’s a se­ri­ous prom­ise,” said Xu Haoyou, a 26-year-old white-col­lar worker in Shang­hai.

Some said that the com­pa­nies can’t lose on the deal be­cause the ma­jor­ity of sweet­hearts will break up.

“The in­sur­ance com­pany is us­ing big data to tell us that less than 5.5 per­cent of the sweet­hearts will fi­nally be­come hus­band and wife,” said a Si­naWeibo user go­ing by the name “From south to north”.

Many shared the com­ment of CaiMeng­sha, who be­lieves the com­pany set the bracket of years after mak­ing painstak­ing cal­cu­la­tions.

“For those who have just fallen in love, it may take three years be­fore they tie the knot, but there are abun­dant vari­ables that in­flu­ence a re­la­tion­ship in three years. For those who are in a sta­ble re­la­tion­ship, they won’t wait three years be­fore get­ting mar­ried,” said Cai, a 29-yearold Shang­hai na­tive.

Some peo­ple joked on the in­ter­net that they want a dis­guised spouse to win the money.

There are se­ri­ous buy­ers, how­ever, in­clud­ing Li Qi­u­meng in Chongqing, whose boyfriend will soon go to Cal­i­for­nia for two years of grad­u­ate stud­ies.

“No mat­ter that the in­sur­ance fi­nally turned out to be a les­son or re­ward, it shows our de­ter­mi­na­tion for love now,” said Li, 26.

Re­la­tion­ships in big cities like Shang­hai seem most frag­ile these days. Mar­riages are not last­ing long. Nearly 53,000 peo­ple di­vorced in Shang­hai in 2014 — sec­ond only to Beijing — and 41,000 of those were be­low age 40. The av­er­age age for mar­riage in Shang­hai is 34.5 for men and 32 for women.

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