You know what we American soccer fans needed on Tuesday as the United States fell to Belgium 2-1 in the World Cup round of 16?
World Cup heartbreak insurance, that's what.
The unusual coverage, offered by China's An Cheng Insurance, was designed to ease the pain of World Cup fans whose teams were sent packing early in the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
Insurance -- or gambling?
While China hasn't actually competed in the 2014 FIFA tournament, Chinese soccer have still been intense about the games -- hence this novel marketing move. Plus, heartbreak policies were available to followers of such powerhouses as Brazil, Argentina, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal.
For a premium of 8 yuan ($1.30), the heartbreak coverage would pay 18 yuan ($2.90) to help heal the hurt if your team was eliminated in the first round. The policies were good only for one round, so if your team advanced you'd need to renew your policy with another premium.
However, the heartbreak payout is redeemable only on Taobao, the online e-commerce site operated by Alibaba Group Holding.
Or "was" redeemable; An Cheng decided to discontinue its heartbreak insurance last week when China's Insurance Regulatory Commission banned insurance companies from offering products that seem a little too much like gambling.
'Hooligan' and 'getting drunk' policies
But take heart, soccer fans! Shanghai-based Zhong An Insurance feels your pain and offers a suite of equally practical World Cup insurance. For a premium of 3 yuan (48 cents), World Cup revelers can still purchase several cheer-worthy personal injury and health insurance policies, each valid for 30 days, including:
- "Soccer Hooligan" insurance: For medical expenses and hospitalization due to altercations with fans of opposing teams. The 10,000 yuan payout ($1,609) does not apply if the insured starts the fight.
- "Foodie" insurance: For sudden, acute stomach upset. The policy pays: up to 2,000 yuan ($322) for treatment and hospitalization; the same for emergency expenses; and 10,000 yuan ($1,609) if the street meat kills you.
- "Night Owl" insurance: For those who wake up with the sniffles after staying up all night to watch the matches, which started at midnight Beijing time. Benefits are the same as Foodie coverage.
Or you could just cut to the chase and purchase Zhong An's solace-of-last-resort coverage:
- "Getting Drunk" insurance: For 13 yuan ($2.09) for young people (defined here as ages 18-40) and 18 yuan ($2.90) for those 40-51, you can buy 500 yuan ($80) of medical coverage for three months if you get drunk and sick.
Still, being a fan is easy. By comparison, check out what professional athletes go through to manage their money.
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