Nippon Life Insurance Co., Japan’s largest, was reportedly holding talks with Mitsui Marine & Fire Insurance Co., its 3rd largest p/c insurer and Sumitomo Marine & Fire Insurance Co., its 5th largest, in an effort to put together an alliance, which would become one of Japan’s largest insurance groups.
The recent bankruptcy filings of the nation’s 11th and 12th biggest life insurers, Kyoei and Chiyodai has apparently accelerated the consolidation of the Japanese Insurance Industry. Until now Nippon hadn’t been interested in finding partners, but Mitsui and Sumitomo are already scheduled to merge their operations next year, and Dowa Fire & Marine Co. is holding talks about joining Nippon’s p/c subsidiary, and would also presumably become part of the new group.
If the alliance is achieved, the combination would become a third new supergroup of insurance companies to compete with the already announced alliances between Tokyo Marine-Asahi Mutual Life-Nichido Fire & Marine and the Dai-Ichi Mutual Life-Yasuda Fire & Marine groups. It would also put added pressure on smaller companies to join one of the three alliances.
While no concrete plans have yet been announce the new group would continue to market insurance products under their separate brands names, would also promote one another’s products, and would work together to develop new ones. Eventually cost savings would be achieved by integrating management and combining other operations.
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