Japanese insurer launches cover for elderly who die alone

Japanese insurer launches cover for elderly who die alone | Insurance Business Asia

Japanese insurer launches cover for elderly who die alone

Japanese insurer Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. is now selling a policy that will cover costs incurred when elderly people die alone with no relatives located.

According to a report by The Asahi Shimbun, elderly individuals dying alone has become a growing social problem in recent years. Due to the isolation, it may take days or even weeks before the corpse is discovered. By then, decomposition has set in, causing contamination and damage to the dwelling and property.

The insurer said that it can cost up to ¥1 million (around SG$10,200) to clean an apartment and prepare it again for occupancy after the previous tenant dies.

The policy, which has been on sale since July, will reimburse apartment association boards that shoulder the costs for cleanup and disinfection, as well as the expenses to hire lawyers to locate possible family members of the deceased.

The yearly insurance premium for a 100-unit apartment complex is at around ¥50,000 for a maximum payout of ¥1 million yen in the event of a solitary death, Tokio Marine & Nichido said.

The report, citing data from the Cabinet Office, said there were 6.71 million people in Japan aged 65 or older that lived alone as of 2020, up 40% from 2010.

Unattended deaths among this age group are also on the rise, the report said. In Tokyo, there were 3,913 unattended elderly deaths across the city’s 23 wards in 2019, up 80% over the previous 10 years.