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Preparing for Large Natural Catastrophes: The current state and challenges of earthquake insurance in Japan


  • Yamori, Nobuyoshi
  • Okada, Taishi
  • Kobayashi, Takeshi


Global incidents of major natural catastrophes are becoming increasingly common in recent years. Seismological research has shown earthquake-prone Japan to be at particular risk from not only inland earthquakes, but also from repeat incidents of major earthquakes such as the Tokai, Tonankai, and Nankai earthquakes. In such an eventuality, earthquake insurance is expected to play a part in ex-post recovery efforts from the damage caused by these earthquakes, with the Japanese government developing special support programs. The previously low penetration rate of earthquake insurance in Japan, however, meant that it did not play a significant role in recovery efforts following the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake. Despite recent progress in improving the system and an increasing awareness of the risks from earthquakes, the penetration rate of earthquake insurance in Japan remains at approximately 20%. In this study we discuss the current state and issues of earthquake insurance in Japan.

Suggested Citation

  • Yamori, Nobuyoshi & Okada, Taishi & Kobayashi, Takeshi, 2009. "Preparing for Large Natural Catastrophes: The current state and challenges of earthquake insurance in Japan," MPRA Paper 8851, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:8851

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Martin F. Grace & Robert W. Klein & Paul R. Kleindorfer, 2004. "Homeowners Insurance With Bundled Catastrophe Coverage," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 71(3), pages 351-379.
    2. Hallstrom, Daniel G. & Smith, V. Kerry, 2005. "Market responses to hurricanes," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 541-561, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amanda Savitt, 2017. "Insurance as a tool for hazard risk management? An evaluation of the literature," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 86(2), pages 583-599, March.
    2. Serge REY & Jacques JAUSSAUD & Julien MARTINE, 2012. "Japon : pistes pour l’analyse des conséquences économiques et managériales du Grand Tremblement de Terre du 11 mars 2011," Working Papers 2011-2012_9, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Jun 2012.
    3. Nobuyoshi Yamori & Yoshihiro Asai, 2017. "Great East Japan Earthquake and Risk Management for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises ―How Do Japanese SMEs Prepare against Natural Disasters?-," Discussion Paper Series DP2017-14, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.

    More about this item


    Earthquake Insurance; natural catastrophes; Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake;

    JEL classification:

    • G22 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Insurance; Insurance Companies; Actuarial Studies
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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