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Claims paid for Japan’s Feb 2021 M7 earthquake reach $1.26bn


As anticipated, insurance claims have continued to be filed related to the Magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck off the coast of the Fukushima region of Japan on February 13th 2021, with the loss to the insurance and reinsurance industry now reaching above US $1.26 billion, according to data from the General Insurance Association of Japan.

parametric-earthquake-insuranceThe earthquake loss was originally anticipated to largely sit with insurers, as the impacts were expected to fall in the hundreds of millions, rather than becoming an event that called on the reinsurance sector for support.

When it struck, this offshore quake left one person dead and injured more than 186, while causing significant structural damage across the Tōhoku and Kanto regions of Japan.

Japan’s Fire and Disaster Management Agency explained that over 9,137 buildings were damaged in the earthquake, many severely, which has driven an escalating insured loss total.

Back in March, Japan’s insurance association, the General Insurance Association of Japan, said that 141,166 claims had been counted from the quake, with around 6,583 paid out as of the middle of the month, amounting to roughly US $36 million at the time.

Then, in early April, the CRESTA organisation revealed that it believed the M7.0 earthquake in Japan could end up having billion dollar industry loss potential.

As of the end of March, the GIAJ updated its numbers as the total amount of claims paid approached US $900 million, or almost JPY 95 billion.

That was based on claims filed from the earthquake reaching more than 202,000, with over 120,000 settled and 95,258 claims payments made by Japans insurance market.

Now, as of April 16th which is the latest data available, the GIAJ has reported the updated claims tally at just over US $1.26 billion, or almost JPY 138.28 billion.

In total there have now been 221,994 claims filed, with 165,866 settled and 133,359 claims payments made by the Japanese insurance market.

The total of claims paid in Fukushima prefecture has now reached almost US $610 million, while for Miyagi prefecture the tally stands at nearly $584 million. Those two prefecture’s remain the locations with by far the most significant property claims damage.

We understand some reinsurance capital support has assisted in the payment of these claims, with sources suggesting a portion has fallen to reinsurers working in partnership with major Japanese insurers.

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