South Korea Urged to Consider Japan’s ‘Lonely Death’ Insurance


According to the report released on Sunday by researcher Kim Se-joong at the Korea Insurance Research Institute, lonely deaths have become a risk factor for landlords, due to changing demographics and household structure in recent years. (Image: Kobiz Media)

According to the report released on Sunday by researcher Kim Se-joong at the Korea Insurance Research Institute, lonely deaths have become a risk factor for landlords, due to changing demographics and household structure in recent years. (Image: Kobiz Media)

SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — Amid a surge in the number of people dying alone in South Korea, a new report has called for the country to follow in the footsteps of Japan and adopt insurance programs for so called lonely deaths.

According to the report released on Sunday by researcher Kim Se-joong at the Korea Insurance Research Institute, lonely deaths have become a risk factor for landlords, due to changing demographics and household structure in recent years.

The number of lonely deaths has been increasing rapidly, with the figure nearly doubling from 682 in 2011 to 1,245 in 2015.

With the number of single households now accounting for 27.9 percent of the total, experts warn the figure will also rise this year.

In Japan, where the issue of lonely deaths emerged around the 1970s, insurance companies have introduced policies designed to protect property owners from damage caused by lonely deaths, including remodeling expenses,

Residential property owners are left with a number of obstacles, including having to clean up after a tenant who has died, calls for lower rent, and difficulty finding new tenants.

Lonely death insurance programs in Japan cover remodeling expenses as well as the financial burden caused by a drop in rent as a result of the death of a tenant.

The report argued that lonely death insurance programs offer benefits to both tenants and property owners, and urged South Korea to take note of Japan’s historical precedent in preparation for the growing risks of lonely deaths.

Ashley Song (ashley@koreabizwire.com)