Online insurance eyed for foreign travelers

posted on November 2, 2015

The Japan Tourism Agency and a private nonlife insurance company have jointly developed the first travel insurance for foreign visitors to Japan that allows them to subscribe through the Internet after arriving in the country.

The insurance will be on sale from February next year.

The insurance has been developed because, with the sharp increase of foreign tourists, an increasing number of foreigners who did not subscribe to travel insurance before arriving in Japan became sick or suffered injuries, causing problems when they were unable to pay for their treatment.

The total number of foreign travelers to Japan hit a record 13.4 million in 2014. Their number this year has already surpassed that, reaching 14.48 million as of the end of September.

A big increase in foreign tourists is expected as Japan will host the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics the following year. To prepare for this influx, the JTA asked nonlife insurer Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance Inc. to develop a new type of travel insurance.

Those who want to subscribe to the insurance will be able to apply via the Internet at airports, hotels or other places and by using their own smartphones or other devices.

The insurance premium varies depending on certain conditions, including how long a visitor will stay in Japan. For example, the premium will be set at about ¥3,000 for a six-day stay, covering up to ¥10 million of medical treatment expenses.

In the past, for instance, a foreign traveler was hospitalized in Japan after being diagnosed with dengue fever and had to pay ¥400,000 to ¥500,000 for treatment, according to sources.

source by the-japan-news
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