Sompo and Zhong An partner to boost travel insurance sales

Firms to enlist the help of a travel booking website and online payments system to sell half a million policies annually

Sompo and Zhong An partner to boost travel insurance sales

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Sompo Holdings of Japan has partnered with Zhong An Insurance of China as part of its plan to sell more travel insurance policies to Chinese tourists looking to enter Japan.

The Tokyo-based insurer aims to sell 500,000 policies annually in cooperation with Zhong An, China’s largest online insurer and an affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba. Zhong An’s premium income for 2016 totalled RMB3.4 billion (US$500 million). It is also known for its unique products, such as drone insurance.

Only a few Chinese insurers offer travel insurance which includes interpreter service and makes medical payments. Sompo is looking to take advantage of this niche, and has already deployed Chinese staff in Japan to take calls from Chinese-speaking customers. Its China-focused travel insurance is priced competitively at RMB65 (US$9.60) per week. International, one of the top travel booking websites in China and a minor stakeholder in Zhong An Insurance, will advertise Sompo to its users that book trips to Japan. Customers can also pay online through Alibaba’s Alipay system, which has over 400 million users in China.

Sompo sold only 90,000 travel insurance policies to Chinese tourists in 2016, so its target of 500,000 is still a long way off. However, with over six million tourists from China entering Japan annually, it may not be that insurmountable of a task.

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