Japan: Scandal at postal insurance company widens
Source: Asia Insurance Review | Sep 2019
The number of insurance policies at Japan Post Insurance sold inappropriately has increased from an initial estimate of 93,000 to at least 183,000.
The figure may rise further since the Japan Post Group intends to examine all of Japan Post Insurance’s roughly 30m insurance policies to see whether they are legitimate, reported The Japan Times.
The scandal involves irregular sales practices that took place over the past five years. Customers were made to pay premiums twice. In such cases, the insurance salespersons are suspected of getting customers to delay cancelling their old contracts for six months after signing new policies to avoid having the latter classified as a switch-over. Similarly, customers were left uninsured for months when they were made to delay the signing of new contracts after cancelling their old ones.
Some other cases involved the outright violation of relevant laws, such as Japan Post salespersons forging customers’ signatures.
The group’s postal unit, Japan Post Co, through which most Japan Post Insurance products were sold, has acknowledged that demanding sales targets imposed on post office workers is the root of the problem.
Regulators believe that the government-owned Japan Post Holdings has failed to provide proper oversight over the Japan Post Insurance and Japan Post Co. A