Claims paid for New Year’s Day Japan earthquake rise to $492m: GIAJ

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The General Insurance Association of Japan (GIAJ) has released new insurance claims data for the January 1st M7.5 earthquake that hit near the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture, revealing that the claims paid total has risen by around 22% in a few weeks to approximately $492 million (JPY 74.44 billion).

japan-quake-jan-2024On March 22nd, we wrote that data from the GIAJ as of March 8th, 2024, revealed that more than JPY 61 billion (USD 414m as of March 8th or USD 403m at the March 22nd exchange rate) in payments from over 67,000 claims from the earthquake had been made.

The earthquake, which struck shortly after 4pm local time off the west coast of Japan on New Year’s Day, caused extensive damage around and south of the epicentre, impacting the prefectures of Ishikawa, Niigata, Toyama, and Fukui.

In an update based on insurance claims data as of March 31st, 2024, the GIAJ has reported that the total claims paid has risen to more than JPY 74.44 billion, which converts to more than $492 million, or closer to $481 million at today’s exchange rate.

This is from a total of 128,263 claims accepted, of which 115,171 are described as completed investigations, while the number of claim payments stands at 81,544, as of March 31st, 2024.

In contrast, up to March 8th, 2024, the GIAJ had reported that 115,211 claims had been accepted, with the number of completed investigations then standing at 95,601, while the number of claims payments totalled 67,413.

So, in just a few weeks, the number of claims accepted increased by more than 11%, the number of claim payments rose by 21%, and the total amount of claim payments increased by 22% to the JPY 74.44 billion reported as of the end of March 2024.

Data from the GIAJ also reveals that currently, the 2024 Noto Peninsula earthquake remains the seventh largest insured loss from a Japanese earthquake event.

It’s important to note that the data from the GIAJ covers claims reported by member companies of the GIAJ and the Foreign Non-Life Insurance Association of Japan, so exclude all losses to global re/insurers operating in the country, as some may not be members.

Catastrophe risk modeller Karen Clark & Company (KCC) was the first to issue a loss estimate for this event, stating on January 5th that total insured losses will reach $6.4 billion.

On the same day, CoreLogic estimated that insured losses in the country from the quake could be between $1 billion and $5 billion.

Later in the month, Verisk’s Extreme Event Solutions pegged insured losses from the event at between $1.8 billion and $3.3 billion.

Lastly, on March 12th, Moody’s RMS estimated that the total insurance industry loss from the earthquake will likely fall between $3 billion and $6 billion.

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