COVID-19 insurance sales surge in Japan

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Sales of life insurance products related to COVID-19 have reportedly surged in Japan, as the public is worried about the negative financial effects caused by contracting the disease.

According to a report by The Japan Times, Taiyo Life Insurance Co. has said that sales of its COVID-19 insurance product, released in September 2020, have exceeded 100,000 policies, the fastest product from the insurer to reach that mark over the past 10 years.

The insurance product will provide a lump sum of up to ¥400,000 (SG$4,920) for hospital stays or home recovery, in case the policyholder is infected by the coronavirus.

Earlier this month, Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Co. launched a product that will pay out ¥100,000 if the policyholder is diagnosed with COVID-19. The policy’s premium changes per month, depending on the number of infections in Japan.

In the week since the product’s launch, Dai-Ichi said it has sold around 3,000 policies.

Another insurer, Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co., launched in December 2020 a medical insurance product that will double its lump sum payments for no additional charge if the policyholder is hospitalised due to COVID-19 or other infections diseases.

Akio Negishi, chairman of the Life Insurance Association of Japan and president of Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co., told The Japan Times that it is a positive sign for the life insurance industry that insurers are developing a wide variety of products to address the public’s needs.

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