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Chiyoda Mutual Life Insurance Co. and UNUM Corp., a major nonlife insurer in the United States, have agreed to strengthen their current sales tieup arrangements, with Chiyoda reinsuring UNUM’s insurance contracts, the two companies said Wednesday.With the agreement, Chiyoda is the nation’s first life insurer to reinsure nonlife policies. The strategy effectively gives Chiyoda an inroad into the nonlife insurance field and is expected to accelerate similar tieups by other insurance firms as conventional boundaries between life and nonlife insurers are lowered under the government’s financial deregulation.Under the deal, Chiyoda will reinsure 50 percent of the risk involved in UNUM’s nonlife insurance contracts retailed in Japan through Chiyoda’s sales agents, company officials said. Reinsurance is a common strategy employed by nonlife insurers to lower the risk for a single insurer by sharing a certain percentage of the risk among several insurers.The two firms already had established a sales tieup in April, in which Chiyoda’s sales agents retail insurance products of UNUM Japan Accident Insurance Co., UNUM’s Japanese affiliate. At that time, however, Chiyoda shelved the reinsurance for later discussion.In Japan, UNUM has focused on the sales of collective insurance, which assures corporate income in the case of accidents involving their employees. Chiyoda has decided to reinforce the two firms’ sales ties by the reinsurance strategy, since the market for such types of insurance products is expected to grow in Japan, the officials said.

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