Japan: Sales of new individual life insurance policies surges by over 130%

Strong sales in whole life, term life and cancer insurance in Japan has led to a significant jump in the number of new individual life insurance policies and the amount of benefits coverage for FY2018, revealed latest figures from the 'Life Insurance Fact Book (2019)' published by The Life Insurance Association of Japan.

The country’s life insurance sector recorded a total of 22.53m new policies including converted contracts, marking a 130.4% year-on-year increase. The breakdown of new policies, excluding converted contracts, by type is health insurance (22.1%), whole life insurance (18.4%), term life insurance (16.8%), cancer insurance (13.6%) and endowment insurance (6.9%).

At the same time, the amount of insurance benefits coverage for new individual insurance policies increased by 116.4% year-on-year, including the net increase arising from the conversions, to JPY66.73tn ($611.8bn) The total amount comprises term life insurance (53.7%), whole life insurance (18.4%), endowment insurance (5.9%), variable insurance (3.3%) and juvenile insurance (1.1%).

The growing sales is part of an upward trend for the life insurance sector whereby the number of individual life insurance policies in force has been increasing for 11 consecutive years. However, the amount of benefits remained equal to the previous year as the recent trend of supplementing medical coverage suppressed the amount of death coverage.

As of FY2018, there were 181.29m policies in force indicating a 104.8% increase from FY17 and the total amount of benefits rose by 99.5% to JPY848.69tn.

However, the lapse and surrender amount for individual life insurance policies increased for the first time in 17 years. The amount of lapse and surrender jumped by 111% and totalled to JPY53.61tn which is calculated as the addition of lapse, surrender, decrease in benefits subtracted from the total amount of reinstatements and increase in benefit.



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