7 Japanese Life Insurers Incur April-Sept. Profit Drops

Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 26 (Jiji Press)--Seven of Japan's eight major life insurers have reported drops in core profits for April-September, citing massive insurance payments due to the seventh wave of coronavirus infections in summer.

Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. was the only one to log profit growth in the first half of fiscal 2022, powered by strong investment gains reflecting higher interest and dividend revenues from foreign securities thanks to the yen's weakness.

Insurance payments ballooned as life insurers distributed hospitalization benefits to a wide range of policyholders infected with the novel coronavirus even if they self-isolated at homes or hotels in accordance with government guidelines instead of being hospitalized.

The industry, however, started limiting the payments of the benefits to COVID-19 carriers at high risk of developing severe symptoms, such as people aged 65 or older and pregnant women, on Sept. 26.

The move is expected to push down hospitalization benefit costs over time. But the levels of payments will remain high for the time being given that it takes some time before infected policyholders file their insurance claims, industry people said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press