Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake
- To provide customers with security as quickly as possible
- For the people and communities affected by the disaster
Establishment of a Groupwide Structure
Special Task Force Established
At 3:33pm on March 11, 2011, a Disaster Management Task Force led by President Shuzo Sumi (at the time) was set up at the Head Office of Tokio Marine & Nichido. Subsequently, we successively established Local Disaster Task Forces in each devastated area. The following day, on March 12, we dispatched an advanced team to Sendai. This team was composed of staff with experience in previous major disasters such as the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.
The Head Office Disaster Management Task Force adopted a policy of taking companywide efforts to place top priority on swift payments of insurance claims to customers and recovery support for local agents. Accordingly, employees were continuously dispatched to provide support and to transport such relief supplies as food and computers to the devastated areas.
Establishment of Earthquake Damage Reporting Center
To adequately handle reports from customers regarding the state of their damages, immediately after the earthquake each company in Tokio Marine Group established a structure for handling damage claims. This included the establishment of an earthquake damage reporting center at Tokio Marine & Nichido. Also, Tokio Marine & Nichido Life and Nisshin Fire & Marine extended their operating hours and increased and strengthened staff at call centers to reinforce their claims handling structures.
To respond to a surge in calls from customers using “Tokio Marine & Nichido Anshin 110 (emergency call),” the number of staff was increased by around 270 persons over normal levels and a total of approximately 510 staff provided responses during peak times.
In some instances, husbands and wives who had become separated after the earthquake respectively made calls to report damage, and these calls functioned as a means of confirming their mutual safety.
Response as a Member of the Non-Life Insurance Industry
Special Measures for Customers Affected by the Disaster
The non-life insurance industry implemented various initiatives to ensure the quickest possible claims payments to customers holding earthquake insurance policies. These measures included using aerial and satellite photographs for designating areas suffering major damages as a “total loss area” and handling earthquake insurance policies in these damaged areas under the classification of “total devastation.” In addition to making claims payments, the industry implemented special measures that included establishing grace periods for procedures for renewing insurance policies and making premium payments.
Tokio Marine & Nichido set up several toll-free numbers to respond to customer inquiries regarding these special measures as well as inquiries about the earthquake insurance system. Additionally, Tokio Marine & Nichido opened the following centers to quickly handle procedures for the various types of insurance held by its customers.
- Customer support center: Serves as a contact point for handling our policyholders at branches that were closed down.
- Auto insurance cancellation center: Serves as a contact point for responding to customers who will have their auto insurance terminated or discontinued because of the earthquake.
- A center for searching earthquake insurance contracts in the GIAJ: Serves as a contact point for customers uncertain of the company with which they have an earthquake insurance policy.
In the same manner, Nisshin Fire & Marine and Tokio Marine & Nichido Life responded in various ways.
Activities of Tokio Marine Group Companies
Large Appraisal Survey Structure
To pay insurance claims as quickly as possible, Tokio Marine & Nichido sent appraisers with specialist knowledge to visit affected customers and undertook work for confirming the status of damages. From April 2011 onward, Tokio Marine & Nichido also successively dispatched support personnel from other regions in Japan to the disaster areas. At the peak of these activities, 1,600 staff were dispatched weekly as part of companywide efforts to ascertain the status of damages and move forward with its response to customers, including payment of claims.
Tokio Marine & Nichido Adjusting Services, in cooperation with Tokio Marine & Nichido, also worked to confirm the status of damages. Employees not normally involved in dealing with earthquake insurance were mobilized and large-scale support units were formed. As of the end of May 2011, a total of 780 staff had been dispatched to 22 locations in disaster-stricken areas.
Providing Early Disaster Recovery Support Service
Tokio Marine & Nichido is working closely with BELFOR, one of the world’s largest disaster recovery and property restoration specialist companies, which carries out operations globally. BELFOR stationed employees in Sendai to gear up for meeting needs for quick restoration in disaster-stricken areas. In collaboration with Tokio Marine & Nichido’s Claim Service Division and Sales Division, BELFOR is proposing and providing early disaster recovery support service, including restoration of equipment and facilities of corporate customers.
Throughout the expansive devastated areas, BELFOR is applying its proprietary precision cleaning technologies to restore equipment and facilities contaminated by saltwater, mud and sand due to the tsunami and is thereby supporting the early disaster resumption of business.
As its chief feature, BELFOR’s “cleansing and restoration” method significantly reduces expenses compared with replacement with new parts. This provides a major financial advantage in addition to shortening the time needed to resume operations. For details, please refer to “My Relations with CSR.”
Beginning immediately after the earthquake, Tokio Marine & Nichido Risk Consulting constantly disseminated information concerning the Great East Japan Earthquake through “Front Line of Risk Management” on its website.
In April 2011, it published Recovery Guide―Toward Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake, a booklet that summarizes key points for recovery that include “Safety Countermeasures,” “Coordination with Business Partners and Suppliers,” “Management Resources Required for Resuming Business” and “Employee Care.”
In May, the company issued “Utilizing the Lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake-Lingering Issues for Corporate Management” through “Front Line of Risk Management” on its website.
Utilizing its expertise as a professional in consulting, the company will continue to contribute to the recovery of devastated areas from various perspectives.
Supporting the Restoration of Offices at Branches and Agents
Tokio Marine & Nichido and Tokio Marine & Nichido Systems provided support that included helping restore offices and lending PCs to agents whose offices and PCs were destroyed or who had their essential utilities cut off by the tsunami to enable these agents to contact customers as quickly as possible.
In line with these efforts, vehicles equipped with mobile terminals were driven as “mobile offices” to various areas and were provided to agents. This enabled even those agents whose offices were damaged to quickly resume operations and contact customers using the various functions of the TNet agency system.
Additionally, by introducing thin clients that centrally manage data on servers without using hard disks in PCs, Tokio Marine & Nichido is able to provide relatively smooth responses to inquiries from customers and agents and to other matters even at damaged branches.
Health Management and Mental Health Care at Branches and Agents
Tokio Marine & Nichido Medical Service, in cooperation with the Tokio Marine & Nichido Head Office Disaster Management Task Force, provided support for employees and agents who suffered damages from the disaster. Immediately after the earthquake, it promptly sent medicine to the devastated areas and from April through May 2011 dispatched a total of eight physicians, who provided consultations and mental health care for 267 Group employees working in the devastated areas. The company also opened a dedicated call center for agents who suffered damages and provided these agents with health consultation services.
The company also visited the bases of corporate customers in the devastated areas and provided services such as arranging for physicians to visit companies for consultations with employees.