Daily heatstroke insurance covers for as little as 73 cents now being given in Japan

·2-min read

Insurance companies in Japan are offering covers against heatstroke for as little as 73 cents as deadly heatwave grips parts of Europe and Asia, sparking health concerns.

Sompo Holdings and Sumitomo Life Insurance, two of the country’s biggest insurers, are offering policies specifically designed to cover medical expenses arising from heatstroke, according to Bloomberg News.

Their insurance plans will now cover both hospitalisation and other costs incurred in case of heat-related sickness.

“These policies are not meant to be profitable, but they could be good ‘door openers’ to tap into clients that don’t have much insurance or are curious about it,” Intelligence analyst Steven Lam told Bloomberg.

“If the whole claims experience is good, that might lead into other sales opportunities,” he added.

The new policies from Japan’s top insurers come as the country witnesses an unprecedented rise in temperatures this year with people struggling to cope with scorching heat, as seen in several parts of Europe and Asia.

Over 14,000 heatwave-related hospitalisations have been witnessed in Japan, official data stated in the first week of July.

While impacts in multiple ways and can be particularly difficult for vulnerable population and for people with existing health conditions, the insurers have currently just included heatstrokes in the offering.

Heatstroke occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature, the sweating mechanism fails, and the body is unable to cool down. The main causes of heatstrokes are physical exhaustion under very high temperatures.

Japan this year suffered an unprecedented heatwave with temperatures breaking the records of 150 years earlier in June. According to the National Meteorological Agency, Japan experienced temperatures above 35C for six days in a row during June – a phenomenon happening for the first time in the country’s history.

Along with Japan, several parts of Asia and Europe have been reeling under scorching heat with the intensity and frequency of heatwaves set to rise in the future as the planet warms.

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