Insurance companies in Japan are likely to design more new products targeting age-related afflictions as the population ages further.
This strategy is likely to be adopted to compete on services rather than price. With standard mortality tables used to calculate insurance premiums scheduled to be revised in April, insurers may need to raise prices – an unwelcome proposition with tough competition, reported Nikkei Asian Review.
Already, Japanese insurers are competing to capture high demand for dementia insurance.
As the nation braces for six million patients with such symptoms by 2020, a 30% increase from 2012, insurance packages that offer lifetime pensions or one-time payouts are increasingly popular.
Taiyo Life Insurance, a unit of T&D Holdings, became Japan’s first life insurer to offer dementia insurance in March 2016. As of late December, more than 300,000 of the policies had been sold.
“The policy is selling particularly well for term insurance,” said a Taiyo Life representative.
Policyholders can claim benefits once they are diagnosed with dementia and the symptoms persist for at least 180 days. Depending on the policy, benefits will also be paid to clients seeking medical care for fractures, which may lead to the onset of dementia due to inactivity.
Previously, Taiyo Life only allowed policyholders aged 75 or younger to buy health insurance. Now, persons 85 and younger can purchase whole life insurance.
Other insurers have moved too into the market. Asahi Mutual Life Insurance, launched a nursing care and dementia policy in April 2016, which provides annuities or lump-sum payouts. Last July, MetLife Insurance beefed up two of its health insurance policies to cover dementia, offering a one-time payout upon diagnosis. A