Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Top Japanese life firms post steep premium income fall

The negative interest rate policy of Japan’s central bank has weighed on the investment income of the country’s top Japanese life insurers, resulting to steep decline in domestic premium income.

The country’s four biggest life insurance players—Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Nippon Life Insurance, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance, and Sumitomo Life Insurance—sustained an estimated 16% decline in combined domestic premium income in the fiscal year ended March.

Their combined insurance premiums are believed to have reached ¥14.7 trillion (US$131 billion) in fiscal 2016, a ¥2.7 trillion plunge from a year earlier.

Life insurers were forced to raise premiums or halt sales of lump-sum whole life insurance policies after the Bank of Japan adopted negative rates.

Nippon Life, Japan’s No. 1 life insurance firm, suffered a slump of more than ¥1 trillion, the worst year-on-year hit in the company’s history.

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