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Japan nonlife insurers braced for 982 bil. yen payout after typhoons

A man walks in a devastated area along a river in Marumori, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on Nov. 12, 2019, a month after Typhoon Hagibis brought heavy rainfall to large swathes of the country. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's three major nonlife insurers said Tuesday they expect to pay out a total of 982 billion yen ($9 billion) for damage caused by recent typhoons and other natural disasters.

    The figure for fiscal 2019, which will end next March, could expand and come close to the record 1.66 trillion yen set in the previous year as many policyholders have yet to make claims.

    MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. expects to pay around 400 billion yen, followed by Sompo Holdings Inc.'s 322 billion yen and 260 billion yen projected by Tokio Marine Holdings Inc.

    Sompo Holdings downgraded its group net profit forecast for the business year to 118 billion yen from 168 billion yen on increasing payouts. The two others left their projections unchanged.

    Wide areas of the country were affected by Typhoon Faxai in September and Typhoon Hagibis the following month, with houses flooded and cars submerged due to swollen rivers. They also triggered landslides and blackouts.

    The number of claims and inquiries about insurance payouts over the two typhoons totaled 608,279 as of Nov. 5, the General Insurance Association of Japan said.

    Given the recent rise in claims linked to natural disasters, major nonlife insurers last month raised premiums by 6 to 7 percent on average.

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