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Sumitomo Marine & Fire Insurance Co. will start selling insurance policies for women from next month that will entitle policyholders injured by stalkers to receive twice the standard benefit, the company said Friday.

Sumitomo aims to sell about 20,000 of the stalking policies annually. The launch of the new type of insurance comes amid a surge in the number of stalking-related crimes in Japan and follows the passage of an anti-stalking bill through the Diet earlier this month.

Policyholders will receive insurance payments four times the standard benefit if they sustain facial injuries in an attack. They will receive twice as much if they are victims of hit-and-run accidents and the same amount conditionally if they are beaten by their husbands.

Sumitomo will sell three- and five-year stalking insurance policies. Policyholders can choose between monthly insurance premiums of 3,000 yen or 4,000 yen. If a holder of a three-year policy with a monthly premium of 3,000 yen sustains injuries inflicted by others, she will be paid 3,000 yen per day for hospitalization costs. If a stalker injures her, she is paid 6,000 yen.

If a stalker injures a policyholder’s face, the victims will be paid 12,000 yen a day for hospitalization costs.

When the insurance contract runs out, a policyholder can receive 54,000 yen — half the total insurance premiums paid to date.

Police received more than 8,000 stalker-related complaints in 1999. Almost 90 percent of targets of serious stalking cases were women, according to police. But the number of reported cases is believed to be only the tip of the iceberg.