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Insurance in China: requirements for international students

There are a few types of insurance that international students can get whilst studying in the big Red Dragon. Source: Johannes Eisele/AFP

Insurance — it can protect possessions, your wallet if medical bills come your way, and it can come to the rescue of your family should something bad happen to you. Sorry — that got dark! Unplanned misadventures can wipe out your entire life savings, and if you’re a student it could leave you with a lot more debt than you bargained for. It will hurt deeper than the break-up of your favourite boy band from the 2000s.

Getting insurance in China is a must for foreign students, and not just because it’s a “good idea” but also because the Chinese government requires international pupils who are studying longer than six months to be covered. There are a few types of insurance that international students can get whilst studying in the big Red Dragon. These include student health insurance, travel insurance, and emergency insurance. 

insurance for international students in china

Motorists drive past an Alipay logo next to the Shanghai office building of Ant Group in Shanghai, on Aug. 28, 2020. Source: Hector Retamal/AFP

According to the requirements of the Ministry of Education of China, foreign students need an individual maximum amount of 400,000 Chinese yuan in student health insurance. If you can’t show evidence of this when you register for your university course, be prepared to be not allowed in. However, you also have the option of purchasing a plan in your home country to cover you during your stay in China, which might be a good option if you have a familiar provider back home. 

The trade-off? Well, the cost of health insurance in China is reasonable, but their local policy maximums are relatively low compared to what western insurance plans can offer. Not all insurance plans are made available to foreigners, so international students are limited in their options. Here are some plans you can look into:

China Taiping Insurance for students

China Taiping has local offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and the UK offering international students several options of coverage. Students based in Singapore may be interested in their Travel Insurance that covers medical expenses, repatriation in case of an emergency and other travel inconveniences. Their Hong Kong-based insurance provider offers some very comprehensive, high-end packages, boasting of worldwide connections with high-end medical providers and private hospital rooms wherever you go. Their UK-based site can be found here for more details on plans offered. 

Ping An Insurance in China for students

Ping An Life Insurance is one of China’s major providers and they have a reasonably-priced policy for foreign students studying in the world’s most populous country. Their Comprehensive Insurance & Protection Scheme for Foreigners Staying in China policy will set you back about CNY400 per semester and will give a limited amount of coverage in case of accidental injury. They also offer separate packages for international student medical insurance, travel insurance and emergency insurance. Further information on their plan here.

AXA Insurance in China for students

The global insurance provider’s International Health Insurance for Students plan has a wide variety of options and price points. This includes five levels for international health insurance comprehensiveness and will give you access to their private healthcare network anywhere in the world, where they pay certain treatment costs directly for you. Although this might cost a little bit more than a local Chinese insurance plan, you can rest assured you will benefit from all the services available. Take a peek here

Allianz Care for international students

Another global outfit offering pretty comprehensive packages for students from around the world, Allianz boasts a digital-first experience. Those interested in buying their products can choose where they’re studying and how budget friendly they would like their plan to be completely online. They have access to round the clock, 365 days a year multilingual support and an accompanying app to help them navigate any issues that may arise. Peep a look at their brochure here

As always young, curious explorers… stay safe!

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