Group mulling mountain-climbing insurance offering

Taipei, Feb. 19 (CNA) The head of the Non-Life Insurance Association of the Republic of China said Tuesday that he is considering a push for mountain climbing insurance and expects to see the insurance product in the first half of the year. The association said premium income last year amounted to NT$122.2 billion (US$412.6 million), setting a 10-year high and has optimistically estimated that income could reach NT$125 billion this year. Association Chairman Jack E.S. Tai said the association needs to have new products if it wants to increase its premium income and that he is also eying other accident-related insurance products this year.
He said the mountain insurance will cover such items as search and rescue costs, adding that similar policies are offered in both China and Japan.
The association said rescue operations are not cheap and that mobilizing a helicopter costs at least NT$400,000. The association said that it initially plans to accept group insurance for mountain climbing teams or groups. Tsai said that if everything goes well, the association plans to expand its policies to other sports and leisure activities such as marathons. (By Wu Chin-chun and Lilian Wu)