Japan's three top P&C insurers are expected to pay out a record JPY1trn ($8.8bn) in combined insurance claims in the fiscal year ending 31 March 2019 (FY2018), as a result of extensive damage from a number of natural disasters this year.
The figure is the largest in terms of payments for wind- and water-related disasters, reports The Nikkei Asian Review.
Specifically, payments by MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings are likely to total over JPY400bn, while Tokio Marine Holdings and Sompo Holdings are expected to pay out over JPY300bn each.
According to the General Insurance Association of Japan, the previous highest insurance claim paid by Japan's insurers for damage suffered from wind and water disasters, including typhoons and torrential rains, was JPY744.9bn in FY2004, when three large typhoons struck the country.
Earnings of Japan's insurers also suffered from overseas disasters, including hurricanes in the US, in FY2017. But the impact this year is predominantly from domestic events.
Major disasters this fiscal year so far have included rains and flooding in western Japan in July, followed by typhoons Jebi and Trami. In particular, September's Typhoon Jebi brought extensive damage to western Japan's Kansai region, where Kansai International Airport was forced to shut down temporarily.
With their bottom lines hit by increasing damage payments in recent years, the three insurers plan to hike fire insurance premiums in the fall of 2019, for the first time in four years.