Insurance Industry Trends in Japan, Part 1: Responses to a Changing Competitive Landscape

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30 April 2014


In Japan, large insurers have competed through cost leadership. Niche operators and entrants have focused on differentiation. Meanwhile, strategies that have emphasized growth through mergers, acquisitions, and alliances have resulted in an extremely concentrated market. Against this backdrop, insurer sales channels have evolved, but passively.

In the report Japan Insurance Industry Trends: Part 1: Responses to a Changing Competitive Landscape, Celent focuses on the diversification of sales channels and examines factors that will prove integral to successful initiatives. After providing a bird’s eye view of Japan’s position in the global and Asia-Pacific insurance markets, the report examines the growth potential of the life and nonlife insurance sectors and the evolution of insurance products and channels. We then consider related changes in the business environment, competitive pressures, and business strategies.

“Japan’s insurance market is no longer a place where conventional business models will easily translate into a competitive advantage. We are seeing a decoupling of product creation and sales. It will be imperative for market players to forge new business partnerships,” says Eiichiro Yanagawa, Senior Analyst with Celent’s Asian Financial Services group and author of the report.

This report analyzes change in competitive conditions in Japan’s insurance industry and insurer responses through the lens of market changes, competitive pressures, and growth strategies.

Part 2 will zero in on the conspicuous diversification of insurance sales channels, analyzing the economic environment, competitive relationships, and system infrastructure changes underpinning this development, while considering how these channels will develop.