Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Japanese Love Insurance

There are certain things that the Japanese love, including cat ears, mayonnaise, and green tea Kit Kat. They also love...insurance? Yes, it's true: despite having only 2% of the word's population, the nation of Japan pays 18% of global insurance premiums. My Japanese wife loves to buy insurance, making sure we're protected from just about everything imaginable -- she even has "golf insurance" that covers injury to herself or others while on the golf course and gives an instant $10,000 bonus should she ever get a verified hole-in-one. While many names of insurance companies in Japan will probably sound familiar to you -- there's MetLife Japan, Mitsui-Sumitomo Life, the Aflac duck of course -- some might come as a surprise. Sony's insurance arm is one of the fastest growing companies in Japan, selling auto, cancer and health insurance for pets. The biggest insurance company in Japan (and in fact, the world) is one you probably don't think of often: it's the Japanese postal system, which offers banking and insurance services in addition to picking up J-List packages for delivery every morning. The postal insurance arm has a staggering $1.3 trillion in assets.

Japanese people love to buy insurance.