According to news outlet the Nikkei Asian Review, 7-Eleven, a Japanese-American international convenience store chain, is to begin selling life insurance policies from MS&AD Insurance Group to its consumers from 20,000 of its Japanese outlets.
As of 16 June, 7-Eleven Japan will be selling cancer insurance from Mitsui Sumitomo Aioi Life Insurance, a wholly owned unit of MS&AD Insurance Group. 7-Eleven customers will be able to apply for the insurance policy through a multifunction copier machine (having completed most of the application beforehand on their computer/smartphone) at the store and then pay at the cashier.
7-Eleven says that it hopes to achieve around 60,000 new life insurance sales through this new initiative.
ITIJ notes that this is a very interesting model for the purchasing of insurance policies, and wonders just how many consumers will actually sign up for policies through this new scheme. Many customers will likely still crave the human touch, not to mention some well-informed direction to ensure they are choosing a policy that suits their needs, when it comes to purchasing insurance. But Japan being a very technologically advanced country, innovations such as this could have a massive impact on the way similar insurance business is conducted around the world, and may well have a knock-on effect on the role that insurance brokers play when it comes to connecting to the consumer to the insurer.