扶老人险 (fúlǎorén xiǎn): "Helping the elderly" insurance
A passerby helps an old man who was hit by a car, in Beijing, Sept 9, 2014. [Photo/IC]
"Helping the elderly" insurance became available for purchase on Alibaba's payment platform Alipay recently. The insurance costs 3 yuan a year ($0.47) and pays up to 20,000 yuan to cover legal fees should the insured be involved in a dispute over whether they provided assistance to a senior citizen after a fall or were the cause of the fall. Within three days more than 26,000 people had bought the insurance, which has provoked heated public debate.
According to the media, among 149 disputes involving elderly people who have fallen and passers-by who claim to have helped them, in 84 of them surveillance camera video proved that the helpers were innocent and had indeed offered aid to the elderly person in need of assistance. Such incidents have a negative impact on society, as many people regard these aged accusers of trying to extort money from the good Samaritans, which will result in the corruption of public morals and people being reluctant to help others for fear of being blackmailed in this way.
As to the insurance, while some say it helps protect good Samaritans from paying for having warm hearts, some people argue it does not solve the fundamental problem, and may actually encourage such extortion.