News 2013/6/11

Our First Original Brand Insurance Product: The Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Co-operative Union of Mutual Aid


A Unique System Achieved through Member Participation
STEP Kyosai is Expanded to the National Level

The Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Cooperative Union (of Mutual Aid) has released its own brand insurance product the "Seikatsu Club Kyosai insurance (mutual assistance or cooperative insurance)". It was originally operated in Kanagawa Prefecture under the brand name of “STEP Kyosai” and later expanded to other parts of the country. The members participate in decision-making on such issues as structural improvements and the usage of premiums. The monthly premium is always 1000 yen, irrespective of age. When members declare that they have a chronic disease, illnesses and so on other than the declared disease will be covered. The Seikatsu Club intends to work on this insurance product as another "consumer material" (products from the Seikatsu Club) which is essential for its members' daily life, and promote it with the Coop Kyosai (the brand name for the insurance run by the Japan COOP Insurance Consumers’ Cooperative Federation). To this end, many members will be involved in the management, and study sessions will be organized to improve the system.

Call for a nickname and a character

In August 2012, the Seikatsu Club Kyosai was approved by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. It is SCICU’s first original brand, and a catchphrase, a nickname and a character were sought from the members.
The original cooperative insurance brand was firstly operated as “STEP Kyosai” by the Seikatsu Club Kanagawa under the jurisdiction of the prefectural government. It was later introduced into every region of the country by the Seikatsu Club. Members participate in the decision-making on such issues as structural improvements and the usage of premiums.
Problems in daily life are well covered by the insurance, since it focuses on the insured person's everyday life. The monthly premiums are fixed at 1000 yen irrespective of age. Even those who have a chronic disease can sign up for the insurance because all the cases except for the chronic disease will be covered as long as the disease is declared when they join.
The coverage of the insurance is unique:

  1. Day treatment: An upper limit of 45 days. Two to ten days outpatient care are provided in the case of injuries.
  2. Day surgery (operations not involving an overnight stay at a hospital): 25,000 yen, 50,000 yen or 100,000yen, depending on the type of surgery.
  3. Across-the-board benefits for rehabilitation to normal life after discharge from hospital.
  4. Maternity care benefit: Childbirth celebratory award (once per insured person).

 The Seikatsu Club intends to operate the Seikatsu Club Kyosai as another "consumer material" required by its members in their daily lives, and promote it alongside the Coop Kyosai. Many members will be involved in the management, and study sessions will be organized to improve the system so that members will feel that their opinions are reflected. This is a way to weave a social fabric based on mutual assistance at the local level.

The nickname "Seikatsu Club Kyosai Hagukumi" and the character "HugMe"

The nickname Seikatsu Club Kyosai Hagukumi was selected from more than 100 applications submitted by members of the Seikatsu Club across the country. A committee consisting of members’ representatives made the final decision on the name.

The name has the double meaning of "hug" and "hagukumu" (nurture). It means that the cooperative insurance will be nurtured by all the members of the Seikatsu Club. The nickname and the character "HugMe" describe human relations through which we feel the warmth of other people.

The logo is surrounded by curved lines which imply mutually-assisting human relations. Ovals in eight colors at the edge of each letter describe the Seikatsu Club Kyosai, which is a "new form of mutual assistance". They express the infinite potential of the newly-born insurance product.

HugMe is a newly born egg which has infinite potential. Eggs are among the most popular consumer materials of the Seikatsu Club. The character has an egg motif which highlights the birth and nurture of the Seikatsu Club Kyosai.