Aoba Life Insurance Co. began operations Oct. 1 to act as caretaker for the insurance policies left behind by failed Nissan Mutual Life Insurance Co.The policies of roughly 1.1 million Nissan Mutual policyholders were transferred to Aoba, which is banned from selling new ones. The firm’s main duties will be to pay out insurance and manage Nissan’s remaining assets and policies.Aoba also has the job of writing off an estimated 100 billion yen worth of debts left behind by the failed insurer, which in late April became the first life insurer in the nation’s postwar history to be ordered to suspend operations.With the establishment of Aoba, policyholders have been allowed to cancel their policies and receive pension and insurance payments — activities that were suspended from April 25 and July 15, respectively, pending policyholders’ final approval of Nissan Mutual’s dissolution scheme. Under the plan, it was decided that for the next seven years, policyholders who decide to cancel their policies before maturity would be ineligible to receive the full amount of money entitled to them.For early cancellations during the current fiscal year, policyholders would be able to receive only 85 percent of the full amount, with the figure rising every year for seven years. Such a step was needed to prevent a possible rush to cancel Nissan Mutual policies immediately after Aoba’s establishment, industry officials said. The yield promised for some policies would also be reduced to stabilize management at Aoba.
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