So, “Love Insurance” Is A Thing

Photo: Getty Images.
Chinese insurance companies have found a way to make money on breakups — and more and more couples are buying into it. Mashable reports that several big insurance providers are offering couples the option to pay a one-time fee and get a payout if they end up getting married. The sums aren't huge — typically, a few hundred dollars — but we can see how it makes sense for some couples (and how many others are being bamboozled into giving up money they'll never see again). Alipay's policies start at $14, going up to $43 and $72. Couples who produce a marriage certificate in between three and 13 years will receive payouts of $291, $873, or $1,455. Some companies are offering romantic gifts instead of cash. If you buy Answern's $57 package and get married three years later, you get a heart-shaped diamond; it's almost like getting a discount on your anniversary gift. College students get a break: Their package costs about $44.

China Life
, the country's largest insurance company, will shower you with flowers for your long-lasting love: Pay $43 ($28 if you're a poor student), get married in three years, and receive 10,000 roses. (Sounds more like someone with a creepy crush than an insurance company, but okay.)
Courtesy of Answern.
Some people say buying love insurance gives them a sense of security, making them feel like their partner is in it for the long haul, Mashable reports. "This protects a girl's heart. Thank you [for] being with me for so many years," one woman posted on Weibo, as translated by Mashable. "It's as much money as going for dinner, but it shows your girlfriend a lot of loyalty. In that sense, it's a good deal," wrote a user on Chinese Q&A website Zhihu. It's clear that these insurance firms are betting against lasting relationships — and taking advantage of China's falling marriage rates, which reflect a global pattern. According to The Conversation, in 2015 the number of newly registered unions in China fell 6.3% from 2014 and 9.1% from 2013. And the divorce rate has jumped 6% from 2014 to 2015, with about 3.84 million couples calling off their marriages. Thanks to the practice of gender-selective abortion, there are millions of "surplus" men in the country, which has created plenty of social problems. And the Ministry of Education has publicly shamed unmarried women over 27 by calling them "leftover women" and urged them to lower their standards if they want to find husbands. They face intense pressures, both from the government and from their families. Consider the breakup rate, too: 98% of Chinese couples break up within three years, reports Huize, a Chinese insurance platform. According to The Wall Street Journal, love insurance isn't the only questionable form of insurance being peddled in China. Plenty of policies have sprung up to protect people from unexpected shipping bills, parking tickets, and more.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series