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Japanese insurers profit despite cat losses

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Japan’s three biggest property and casualty (P&C) insurance groups are on course for a profitable year despite record natural catastrophe losses, Moody’s says.

The P&C arms of Sompo Holdings, MS&AD Insurance Group and Tokio Marine Holdings were in the black in the six months to September, a sign they are riding out the impact of disasters that struck in the northern summer.

“Group-level capitalisation remains strong despite record high domestic wind and flood catastrophe losses,” the ratings agency says. “This reflects our view that the groups’ sound risk management, including the use of reinsurance and the pursuit of geographic diversification, has contributed to the resilience of their profit base.”

The strongest typhoon in 25 years hit Japan in September, leaving insured losses of up to $US4.5 billion ($6.2 billion), according to catastrophe modeller AIR Worldwide. 

A magnitude-6.7 earthquake struck Hokkaido island in the same month.