News30 Aug 2016

Japan:Quake insurance contracts hit record, exceeding 60%

30 Aug 2016

The proportion of newly signed fire insurance contracts in the fiscal year ended 31 March 2016 that include earthquake damage coverage rose by 0.9 percentage point from the previous year to a record 60.2%, according to industry data.

The proportion topped 60% for the first time, according to the General Insurance Rating Organization of Japan. The quake insurance contract rate climbed for 13 years in a row, reported Jiji Press.

An increasing number of people are seeing the need to have earthquake insurance following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck the Tohoku region, officials of the organisation said.

Among the 47 prefectures, Miyagi, which was hit hard by the 2011 disaster, had the highest proportion at 86.2%, followed by Kochi, with 84.2%, and Miyazaki, with 76.3%. Both Kochi and Miyazaki are expected to suffer massive damage in the event of a giant earthquake that is seen to occur at the Nankai Trough off the country’s Pacific coast in the future.

Kumamoto, affected heavily by a series of strong earthquakes in April this year, ranked 18th, with 63.8%, and neighboring Oita 19th, with 62.9%.

Earthquake insurance, available as an option to fire insurance, covers damage to housing and household goods from temblors, tsunami and volcanic eruptions

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