Zenkyoren loss estimate up to $7.9 billion for Japanese earthquake

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Zenkyoren, the largest cooperative insurer in Japan and holder of one of the largest reinsurance programs in the country, has given a preliminary estimate of over $7.9 billion (around 650 billion yen) for losses incurred during the 11th March earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.

Reinsurers have been watching the estimates coming from Japan as it helps to give them a better picture of the overall market loss that they will have to pay out. Initial estimates for the losses that Zenkyoren would be claiming back on its reinsurance program were between the $5 billion to $6 billion mark so this has risen quite significantly. The figure is likely to rise slightly higher as loss reporting has been particularly difficult after the disaster in Japan due to the scale of the devastation.

Towers Watson gave an initial estimate for losses incurred by Zenkyoren as likely to be in the range of $3.5 billion to $8.5 billion. They also estimated the total insured losses from the disaster as in the range of $20 billion to $45 billion. So, as the Zenkyoren loss is right up at the higher end of the range that Towers Watson estimated, it could mean that the final toll from the disaster is also at the higher end of their total insured loss estimate.

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