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With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, sales of life insurance products related to the coronavirus are surging amid concerns over the financial damage that people may suffer if they get infected with the virus.

At Taiyo Life Insurance Co., sales of its COVID-19 insurance product, released in September last year as the first such product in the Japanese life insurance industry, exceeded 100,000 contracts about eight months after release, the fastest pace for a product of the company to pass the threshold in 10 years.

If infected with the virus, people may need to be hospitalized for treatment or at least require rest for recuperation. During this time, their incomes may dive temporarily or they may need to spend more money, to get food delivered, for example.

Taiyo Life’s COVID-19 insurance product for individuals pays up to ¥400,000 in a lump sum for hospital stays or recuperation at home if policyholders are diagnosed as infected with the coronavirus or other infectious diseases.

A public relations official of Taiyo Life said the T&D Holdings Inc. unit was able to meet needs in society amid intense worry about getting COVID-19.

On April 9, Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Co. launched a product that pays ¥100,000 as a lump sum benefit to policyholders diagnosed with COVID-19, with premiums changing every month in line with the infection situation in the country.

The company had secured about 3,000 contracts about a week after its launch, Dai-Ichi Life officials said.

Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. introduced in December last year a medical insurance product that doubles its lump sum payments for policyholders without additional fees, if they are hospitalized because of the novel coronavirus or other infectious diseases.

Akio Negishi, chairman of the Life Insurance Association of Japan and president of Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co., said it is desirable for the life insurance industry that insurers develop a variety of products.

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