If you’re a subscriber to the Insurance Business UK
newsletter then chances are you’re an insurer, a broker or in some way linked to the insurance industry – but yet we’d hazard a guess that you probably haven’t heard of ‘break-up insurance’ before.
It’s no surprise either – because these aren’t a new form of policy offering pay-outs for broken hearts, but actually a bizarre form of gambling based around a celebrity couple and a legion of Chinese fans.
According to a report in The Telegraph
, online stores in China are being told to withdraw their break-up insurance products amid legal concerns after offering it to celebrity-obsessed fans of British actor Tom Hiddleston and his apparent new romantic interest, American singer Taylor Swift.
The break-up insurance actually involved fans paying 300 yuan to predict when the relationship between the stars will come to an end – with them able to pick up double or triple the sum if their prediction proves accurate. The product was on offer via e-commerce site Taobao – however, retailers have now removed it from the internet.
According to the publication there were concerns expressed that the website may have been breaking Chinese laws which prohibit individuals from selling insurance; while it may also have infringed gambling laws – betting is prohibited in China unless organised by the official Sports Lottery or state welfare.
Speaking to Legal Mirror
, a Taobao official commented on the withdrawal of the product stating that: “Our platform is paying close attention to ensure imaginative ideas are not being improperly presented by sellers in order to prevent our customers’ rights and interests from being harmed.”
This is not the first unorthodox “insurance” product to be offered in China either: a ‘heartbreak’ insurance product was offered during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil to protect football fans from the agony of elimination.
With Euro 2016 in full flow, insurers, and England looking at a difficult contest in the last 16 - don’t be getting any ideas.
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