If you have a business and want to properly protect it and manage it, then you likely thought about business insurance. When it comes to business insurance, the types of insurance that is available can vary by the type of climate and region you live in the world. Just like the process of incorporation or getting a visa, not all types of insurance is optional so it is vital to having a successful company in Japan.
The Overview of Business Insurance
There are three types of workers’ insurance- health insurance and nursing care, workers’ accident compensation insurance, employees’ pension insurance and unemployment insurance.
Paying for accident insurance is not cheap, which is why the Japanese government helps out smaller and medium businesses. To learn more, go to your local Labor Standards Inspection Office in Japan.
Similar to many countries unemployment insurance is also required for basically all salaried employees who work for more than 20 hours per week for at least 1 month. Also like other countries, part of this “money” is directly withheld from the employee’s pay check and partly this money comes from the employer.
When concerning with workers’ accident compensation insurance, it is required for all workers who received a salary. This type of insurance is for workers who get injured or sick during work or because of work. This is paid by the employer and how much the employer pays completely depends on the field of work involved. For example, a construction worker’s employer will probably pay less than an employer of a basic day-to-day business employees.
If workers are not eligible for insurance from the company, they get national health insurance which they must apply for themselves. The worker must pay for their own insurance premium, which is based on age and income. For foreign workers and residents, they should stay in Japan for at least three months. This is generally for people who are part timed, self-employed or a student. With that being sad, for this type of insurance workers will pay around 30% of the care. Not all Japanese hospitals accept this insurance, but most do. In Japanese, this insurance is called Kokumin Kenko Hoken.
Another kind of insurance is Social Health Insurance, which is usually for full-time employees. Just like National Health Insurance, workers will need to pay about 30 percent. Most hospitals accept this insurance, but again, not all. In Japanese, Social Health Insurance and Pension is known as Shakai Hoken.
Social Health Insurance includes three out of the four types of insurance required- workers’ accident compensation insurance, employment pension insurance, health insurance and nursing insurance.
As a company, you are required to pay for half of the price of the premium and it is charged through you. The positive about this insurance is that family members do not have to pay separate insurances like in the National Health Insurance. but the exception to this is if a dependent makes more than 1300000 yen a year.
Social Health Insurance will cover medical costs but also the dentist and optician.
Price of Insurance
How much insurance will you have to pay for your workers? The premiums are decided by the salary of the worker and then calculated.
In terms of workers’ accident compensation insurance, the maximum premium is higher for more dangerous filed such as mining, metal and coal industries around 9 percent, while it is lower for office jobs such as finance, accounting and insurance industries. This is applicable to all workers.
For employment insurance, the premium is determined by wage and the rate is 1.35 percent, with the employer paying a majority of that at 85 percent. Unlike workers’ accident compensation insurance, this type of insurance is only applicable to workers who have worked at least a month and have at least 20 hours per week.
When looking at Health Insurance and Nursing Care Insurance, it is required for all companies and sole proprietorships with at least five employees. Nursing care insurance only applies to persons at least 40 years of age. As for how much you will be paying, both parties (the employer and employee) pay the same amount in premium.
The last type of insurance is Employers’ Pension Insurance. This is required by all companies and sole proprietorships that have at least 5 employees. It is 17.828% of the insured party’s standard monthly remuneration. Both the employer and employee pay the same amount.
Likewise, in terms of the property itself, there are different insurances available. There are property insurance, tool and plant cover, revenue protection and more. These insurances will help cover damages done by fires, floods done to equipment and business premises.
In Japan, a popular type of insurance is Earthquake Insurance. As you probably know, Japan is very prone to Earthquakes and that means this could be as essential.
Another important insurance is liability insurance. This is an important type of insurance because damages that happen because of your business makes your business liable, not you. An example of this would be if a customer slipped on a wet floor. This is good for small business owners as it prevents you as a business owner from being sued.
If you are a small enterprise that has customers, public liability might be useful. If your customer is hurt because of your company, this insurance will pay the customer, not you.
Filling out an Insurance Application
As you probably already know, Japan has three writing systems- Kanji, Hiragana and Katakana. Kanji are the borrowed Chinese characters, Hiragana is their own character alphabet and Katakana is the other alphabet, used for foreign words. Knowing the difference will be essential to your insurance application.
For the insurance application, some of the items you will need to think about will be your corporation number (unless you are a sole proprietor, this will not apply), the name of place (either in Kanji or Katakana), zip code, place of business, location, the business phone number, date of establishment, labor insurance number, a basic summary of the business, number of full-time workers, etc.
Japanese Business Insurance Options
If you want learn about more specific business insurance options in Japan, here are some options that might work for you.
Zurich Insurance has been insuring people for over a hundred years and is a multi-national nation. Their main page is pretty much completely in English, offering three groups of insurance- direct business, wholesale business unit and corporate business unit. Direct business unit refers to insurance that covers auto insurance, bike insurance and other accident insurance products. Wholesale business unit refers to insurance covering personal accidents and they have corporate business unit, which is for industrial all risk insurance, engineering insurance and more. However, the bulk of their site is in Japanese so you would probably need a translator to help you through this process.
- Well reputable, established business
- Offers a variety of insurance types
- Initial English front page
- Offices in major cities in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagasaki, Hokkaido and Toyama
- Primarily in Japanese that is not able to be translated
- Needs assistant if user cannot read Japanese
Still Curious? Click HERE
CHUBB insurance is one of the more English friendly options people can choose from. Their site is very easy to navigate and is for multinational corporations, location business, public entities and pretty much an option for employers who want to get their employees insurance. Along with the basic Health insurance, they offer automobile insurance and property insurance, all easily found on their site. For employees who do not work the proper amount of hours to receive insurance, they also offer insurance for individuals and families as well.
- The website has an English option that is well organized
- What CHUBB offers is well stated on the website
- Easy to navigate, simple
- The website is not very detailed
- Does not have a price estimation on the website
Still Curious? Click HERE
Other Japanese Insurance Options
Most insurances options have an English “site”, it usually is lacking in detail and you will have to go ask a friend or a professional anyway to get a real description of what the company has to offer. Companies like JapanPost, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance groups are all options, but unless you read Japanese, you will not get very far finding out about what you can be offered.
In essence, knowing what insurance is like in Japan is important, so you avoid breaking any laws and so you know what to expect when paying insurance companies and how much it costs to start a company.
It is of course necessary to pay for at least the three types of worker insurance, and know the premium rates can help you estimate the costs involved. It is also beneficial to look at property insurances, even if they are not required depending on what line of business you are going for.
Business Insurance FAQ
How soon will I need to notify the Local Standards Inspection Office?
For Workers’ Accident Compensation Insurance and Employment Insurance, within 10 days. For Pension Insurance, 5 days is required.
What if I have a foreign worker in my company with a previous Pension agreement?
People from the countries Germany, U.K., South Korea, the US, Belgium, France, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Spain, Ireland, Brazil, Switzerland and Hungary do not need to enrol in Japan if the Japanese Pension Office is informed.
Who is considered a dependent for Health Insurance
The person’s spouse, children, grandchildren and siblings who is dependent under the insured person’s money can be eligible.
Business Company Options FAQ
How come the website does not specify the details of insurance they offer?
Most websites are still primarily geared towards native Japanese people. With that said, they probably do not have that many employees who can speak English well so it makes it complicated and unnecessary to have an extensive English page.