AFLAC, strong ties to Japan business

Aflac BuildingAs the numbers keep rising on the estimate of losses in Japan, so do the growing concerns regarding the financial stability of insurance companies that were heavily vested there. One company, in particular, had at least three-quarters of their overall business in Japan. AFLAC, a top performing, Fortune 500 company, insures two of the largest insurance buyers in the world; the United States, and Japan.

AFLAC sells supplemental health (GAP) insurance, life insurance and cancer insurance. Even though they don’t have property coverage in Japan, when the Earthquake and Tsunami hit, AFLAC’s stocks took a small hit also; along with most other big insurer’s.

In Japan, everyone has health insurance. They are covered under their employer, or by a community based insurer; so not everyone has a supplemental health policy. About one-quarter of the people have some form of AFLAC’s coverage. Granted, that is over 31 million people, but most of the individual policies are for moderate amounts.

AFLAC has been in Japan for over 40 years, and 89 percent of the companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange have some form of their insurance. Additionally, well over 150 thousand small businesses are customers also. The firm has over 80 offices and employees more than five thousand people in Japan; so this was a personal event for AFLAC as much as it was a “business” occurrence.

AFLAC has received several awards, including, Worlds Most Ethical Company, Americas Most Admired Company, and Excellence in Community Service and Corporate Responsibility; these and many other awards are all consecutively running for between two, and ten years in a row. 

It is apparent why this company succeeds as well as it does. CEO Daniel Amos and other top executives have been in constant contact, several times a day, with Agents and officials, trying to keep updated on the desolation that has occurred there. The claim pay outs will be a containable amount; the company is financially strong enough to come through this. The main concern for now is to give the people (of Japan) the help they need, as soon as possible.

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