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The nation’s 38 life insurance companies have failed to pay ¥91 billion of insurance money and other due payments in about 1.2 million cases over five years since the 2001 fiscal year. This backlog will surely increase public worry following the reported nonpayment problem at nonlife-insurance companies as well as the pension fiasco, in which the government failed to identify some 50 million pension premium payment records. Life insurers need to realize that insurance policies constitute part of the social safety net and treat their customers in a helpful way.

The nonpayment involving life insurance companies surfaced in 2005 when Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co., one of four major insurers, was found to have deliberately refused to pay a large amount of due insurance money. In April, 38 companies submitted interim reports to the FSA, showing a five-year nonpayment total of ¥36 billion in about 440,000 cases.

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