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Life Health > Life Insurance

More Insurers Respond To China Quake

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New York Life Insurance Company and Prudential Financial Inc. are moving to support earthquake relief efforts in China’s Sichuan Province.

A 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck the province May 12, and Chinese officials have estimated the quake may have killed tens of thousands of people.

New York Life, New York, has helped start a joint venture, Haier New York Life, that has offices in Chengdu, Deyang, Guaghan and Zhongjiang in China’s Sichuan province.

The lives of Haier New York Life employees and agents in the affected areas were spared by the earthquake, New York Life reports.

Employees and agents in China have been contributing cash and supplies to help Sichuan province employees, agents, policyholders and families affected by the earthquake, the company says.

New York Life has announced that it will donate $100,000 to aid and support earthquake relief efforts in China and match the contributions of employees and agents, with half of the money going to the Chinese Red Cross and half to other relief agencies.

“The people caught in the disaster area and the rescue workers making valiant efforts to save lives have been in our thoughts and prayers since we learned of this tragic event,” New York Life President Theodore Mathas says in a statement.

“Our support for our joint venture is strong, and our commitment to be there when our policyholders and friends need us is unwavering,” Mathas says. “We are confident the people struck by this disaster will find the courage to emerge from this challenge, and New York Life will stand firmly beside them.”

Prudential, Newark, N.J., which has invested in a joint venture, Everbright Pramerica, based in Shanghai, and also has other operations in China, does not believe employees or agents were directly affected by the earthquake, a company representative says.

Prudential is donating $150,000 to the American Red Cross earthquake relief efforts.

The Prudential Foundation will be matching contributions to relief efforts, and an asset management joint venture has contributed the equivalent of $143,000 to the relief efforts, the company says.

“Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones and whose lives have been devastated by the earthquake,” Prudential Chairman John Strangfeld says in a statement.

In addition to helping the earthquake victims, the Prudential Foundation also is making a donation to support individuals affected by the Myanmar cyclone and is matching employees’ donations to organizations supporting the Myanmar relief efforts, Prudential says.

A third company, ING Americas, Atlanta, a unit of ING Groep N.V., Amsterdam, is contributing $100,000 to earthquake relief efforts through the ING Foundation.

The parent company is making a separate donation, ING Americas says.

The ING Americans contribution will go to UNICEF China, in part to help with immediate necessities and in part to help children overcome the loss of schools.

“The devastation in the affected areas is overwhelming,” says ING Foundation President Rhonda Mims. “UNICEF is our global partner for our children’s education program, ING Chances for Children, and the organization plays a critical role in ensuring not only children, but also individuals and families affected by tragedies have the support they need to more easily recover. We realize that we have a corporate responsibility to help empower the communities in which we operate and our employees live.”

ING has a variety of life insurance, banking and asset management operations in China, and it has real estate operations in the Sichuan province cities of Chengdu and Chongqing.

Some of the other North American insurers that have announced major China earthquake relief contributions include American International Group Inc., New York; Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto; and Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto.


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