To strengthen responses to natural disasters that have become commonplace in recent years, the General Insurance Association of Japan (GIAJ), has been studying various common issues related to natural disasters, such as for members to make joint efforts in insurance payments for storm and flood damage, Mr Yasuzo Kanasugi, GIAJ chairman, has said.
In a statement issued last week on developments in the general insurance sector and the work carried out by the GIAJ, he said that the association through its Natural Disaster Response Study Project Team is discussing and prioritising the issues to be considered with views collected from member companies.
Mr Kanasugi also revealed that GIAJ has established a COVID-19 central command and has been providing information to all member companies. GIAJ has also implemented an extension to the certification deadline for general insurance solicitors.
He said, “Member companies will focus on providing prompt and reliable claim payments in case policyholders with appropriate coverage to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) suffer health damage. In addition, from the perspective of preventing further spread of the virus and protecting policyholders, we will grant a moratorium on the continuation of insurance contracts and on payments of insurance premiums for contract renewals. Even if the infection spreads further, we will strive to build the necessary systems to maintain underwriting and claim payment operations for products such as motor insurance and fire insurance, and make every possible effort to fulfil our mission as part of Japan’s social infrastructure.”Promoting earthquake insurance
In order to prepare for large-scale earthquakes, the GIAJ is working to improve market penetration of earthquake insurance and promote consumer understanding of earthquake risks. In December 2019 and January 2020, the GIAJ aired a special TV programme to explain what might happen in the event of a Nankai Trough earthquake with the title: “A large-scale earthquake hits – How to protect your life and living”. It was viewed by an estimated 380,000 households. Moreover, the GIAJ is working on publishing advertisements in magazines and newspapers, distributing promotional videos and broadcasting other TV programmes, etc.