Extreme Weather Hurry to Pay Insurance Claims-Non-life Insurance Companies x Tech Frontline-September 2, 17:34

A series of large-scale natural disasters in the Japanese archipelago over the last few years.

Non-life insurance is the food for rebuilding the lives of those affected by the disaster.

Major non-life insurance companies are now rushing to introduce the latest technologies such as drones and artificial satellites in order to quickly deliver insurance money to the victims.

In addition, efforts have begun to utilize the various information obtained by non-life insurance companies for disaster prevention and mitigation.

Non-life insurance companies that challenge abnormal weather.

I covered the front line.


(Reporter, Economic Department Hiroki Fujimoto / Economic Program Director Takayuki Kanetake)

Drone and AI inundation height in 1 cm increments

On August 19, "Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance" investigated the damage caused by drones in Takeo City, Saga Prefecture.



The Rokkaku River that flows through the city is flooded in Takeo City due to record heavy rain.

A large area was flooded, and more than 1,600 houses were flooded.

The aim of using a drone is to "accurately grasp the terrain of a flooded area."



Create a high-definition 3D model by stitching together images taken three times a second from the drone.

By adding data such as rainfall to the 3D model and analyzing it with AI, it is said that the inundation height of the damaged building can be calculated in units of 1 cm.

Although there are some errors, it is not necessary to dispatch investigators to each damaged building, so the number of days required to pay insurance money can be significantly reduced.

Insurance payment over 1 trillion yen annually

The reason why non-life insurance companies are rushing to introduce such technology is that the amount of insurance claims paid due to storms and floods is on the rise.

In FY2018 and FY2019, it exceeded 1 trillion yen for the second consecutive year, and the balance of fire insurance of non-life insurance companies deteriorated due to the frequent occurrence of natural disasters.

The last 10 years have been in the red almost every year.



There is a sense of crisis that this may hinder the prompt payment of insurance claims.



For companies, speeding up insurance payments is not just about fulfilling their mission to help rebuild the lives of the victims.

Reducing costs and making the fire insurance business sustainable are also urgent challenges common to the industry.

"Human wave tactics" is no longer the limit

The damage is widespread, especially when rivers are flooded.



In order to carry out a witness survey for insurance payment, it is necessary to wait for the weather to recover, identify the extent of damage, make an appointment with the insured, dispatch an investigator and visit each house. I have.



In flooding rivers, even if you increase the number of workers, the larger the scale of the disaster, the longer it will take to pay.

Therefore, it is required to build a system to speed up payments without relying on human resources as much as possible.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, which uses drones, is now concerned about the flood damage caused by the flooding of the Arakawa River that runs through Tokyo.



If it does happen, the damage is expected to be extremely widespread, and the number of insurance claims paid is expected to exceed that of the Great East Japan Earthquake.



Therefore, we are introducing the latest domestically produced drones.

It has wings like an airplane, and after taking off vertically, it is characterized by flying horizontally at high speed, the speed is about 4 times faster and the cruising time is about 3 times longer than the conventional type, and the range that can be investigated at one time is It spreads significantly.



If the Arakawa River overflows, it is expected that the conventional shooting time of more than a month can be reduced to a few days.

Mr. Maruyama


"I think that human wave tactics are no longer possible in reality. It is important to create a system that can respond to every situation."

Utilize artificial satellites

"Tokio Marine & Nichido" has begun to grasp the damage situation immediately after the inundation using artificial satellites.



Since the artificial satellite is equipped with a special radar, it is possible to take pictures even in places covered with thick rain clouds or at night.

In the image taken by the artificial satellite owned by the Finnish company with which we collaborate, the part covered with water appears black.



By comparing the image taken before flooding with the image taken after flooding, the extent and depth of flooding can be calculated.

Again, there are some errors, but it is possible to estimate the inundation depth for each building in 1 cm increments.



Even if the investigator does not go to the site, it will be possible to determine whether or not the insurance will be paid, which will shorten the period until payment by about two weeks.

Deputy Chief Ohashi


"In the event of major damage, it would normally be impossible to take pictures immediately after the damage, but artificial satellites were able to take pictures at night on the day of the disaster."

Public disclosure of non-life insurance data Useful for disaster prevention and mitigation

Non-life insurance companies have various data related to disasters.



There is also a movement to make the data widely available and use it for disaster prevention and mitigation.

Damage prediction website "cmap" published by Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance.



You can check the forecast of building damage caused by typhoons, heavy rains, and earthquakes on a map for each city, ward, town, and village, and you can also see hazard maps related to flood damage and sediment disasters.

You can use it for free on the website as well as on the smartphone app.



Originally, it was developed to help build the company's rapid system, but it was opened to the public from June 2019 so that it could be used for disaster prevention and mitigation.

From August this year, the location of evacuation shelters in local governments and some congestion status will be displayed, and functions will be added one by one.



In addition, efforts have begun to develop services that support the advance evacuation of residents and to provide data on damage prediction to local governments.



The business of non-life insurance companies is expanding not only to "respond to after a disaster" but also to "prevent the damage from becoming large".



In the wake of frequent and large-scale natural disasters, changes that utilize the latest technology and information are likely to accelerate further in the future.


Hiroki Fujimoto,

Reporter, Ministry of Economic Affairs


Joined in 2005


After working at Yamaguchi Broadcasting Station and Osaka Broadcasting Station, he is currently in charge of the financial industry.


Economic program director


Takayuki Kin Take


Joined in 2011


Sapporo Broadcasting Station, Good morning Japan, News Watch 9 and then economic programs


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