Global Biz News: Japan is an Excellent Market for Life Insurance

August 28, 2007 at 6:04 pm Leave a comment

New York Life Insurance, which formed in 1845 and is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States, is very interested in building a presence in Japan. John Harrison, the head of New York Life Asia, recently told Reuters “the firm could begin operations at some point in the next few years in Japan, which has the world’s highest percentage of elderly people.”


New York Life ranks #78 in the Fortune 500 List. They were the first life insurance company to pay cash dividends to policyholders, and today they serve many functions: paying off claims, funding retirement, and/or meeting nursing home costs.

As JpBiz reported here a few months ago, the world’s oldest man and woman are both Japanese. The average lifespan of a Japanese man is 79, and the average lifespan of a Japanese woman is 87.

This makes them an excellent market for life insurance, as they have many retirement years on their hands that need to be planned for.

Though New York Life had several offices in Europe in the late 1800s, the company pulled back from the international arena at the start of World War I. Their first branch in Asia didn’t open until 1988, when the company acquired an office in Hong Kong.

Since then, New York Life’s international presence has grown to include India, Taiwan, Thailand, Mexico, Argentina and South Korea.

Sarah S.

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Entry filed under: Japanese Business.

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August 2007
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