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Fire insurance covers only a quarter of shops at traditional markets: survey

All News 16:35 January 17, 2017

SEOUL, Jan. 17 (Yonhap) -- Only a quarter of shops at traditional markets across the country are ensured against fire as petty merchants are reluctant to pay premiums amid a protracted economic slowdown, a survey said Tuesday.

Only 26.6 percent of 35,000 stores at 1,439 traditional markets are covered by fire insurance as of the end of 2015, according to the survey conducted recently by the Small Enterprise and Market Service. The figures were 37.2 percent in 2013 and 22.2 percent in 2014.

By region, Gyeonggi Province has the highest coverage rate with 51.4 percent, followed by Daejeon City with 48.5 percent, South Chungcheong Province with 42.8 percent and Gangwon Province with 39.4 percent.

Jeju Province had the lowest rate of 0.3 percent with Sejong City the second lowest at 9.7 percent.

The low rate is attributed to shop owners finding insurance premiums to be a burden amid the slumping economy.

"The insurance coverage rate differs greatly in accordance with the economic situation," said an official of the state-run organization.

A fishery market in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, is a blackened mess on Jan. 15, 2017, after a fire broke out there in the early morning. (Yonhap)

Fire broke out at a fish market in Yeosu, South Jeolla Province, Sunday, destroying 116 out of 125 stores and incurring 520 million won (US$442,364) in property damage with no fatalities or injuries.

In another case, fire engulfed Seomun Market in Daegu City, some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Nov. 30 and destroyed 840 shops and injured two firefighters.

Traditional markets are susceptible to fire as they usually accommodate cloth and plastic products dealers in large numbers and are not equipped with up-to-date electricity or gas facilities.

Fire insurance covers only a quarter of shops at traditional markets: survey - 2

hdh@yna.co.kr
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