Declining in regional vitality brings about depopulation, shortfalls in social services and a variety of other issues. Communities need to ensure they have the ability to cope with environmental changes, including the ability to recover from earthquakes and other disasters.
The MS&AD Insurance Group has been undertaking a range of efforts both inside and outside Japan to contribute to efforts aimed at disaster-prevention/reduction disasters and at developing communities that are essential for striving for resilient community development. The Group has also turned its attention to social issues in developing countries.

Key Relevant SDGs and Targets

Sustainable urban development can be promoted by boosting cities’ ability to cope with and recover from earthquakes and other disasters. The MS&AD Insurance Group is striving for resilient and sustainable community development through its insurance/financial service businesses.

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

8.9 By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

11.b By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels

MS&AD’s Business

Risk Management to Prevent/Mitigate Disasters

Supporting Companies’ Risk Countermeasures (BCP)

It is becoming increasingly important to prepare for earthquakes and other natural disasters. MSI, ADI, and MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting are providing significant support to reduce damage from earthquakes, tsunamis, water-related disasters, etc., offering advice on the formulation of business continuity plans (BCP), and running disaster scenario drills in order to contribute comprehensively to building flexible and resilient societies, spanning the full spectrum from disaster prevention/reduction to business continuity.

In May 2017, MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting launched a “Support Program for the Arrangement of Urgent Building Inspections after Large-Scale Earthquakes”. This program aids in constructing systems to conduct emergency in-house inspections of the structural safety of buildings required before accepting disaster victims and to maintain company business should a large-scale earthquake strike. In December 2017, the company began providing a “Safety Obligation Fulfillment”.

Providing Disaster Prevention/Reduction Information

On its official website (http://www.ms-ins.com/special), MSI provides two pieces of content regarding disaster prevention and mitigation: "Know and Prepare Disaster Measures" and "Advice for Emergency Practice." Recently, many large-scale natural disasters have occurred, and it is important to work on continuous disaster prevention and mitigation without forgetting the experience of such disasters. In order to contribute to such effort, these pieces of content are provided to widely disseminate information on disaster prevention and mitigation to many people regardless of their age based on the concept of "friendly in normal times, reliable in an emergency." MSI will continue working on building a safe and secure society that is resilient to disasters through the provision of products/services that leverage its know-how in disaster prevention and mitigation as well as various other types of information.

 

Participating in National Disaster Prevention Promotion Conference 2017: Conducting Sessions on BCP Basics for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

View of conference
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View of conference

The MS&AD Insurance Group participated in the “National Disaster Prevention Conference 2017: Preparing for Large-Scale Disasters - Collaborating in Disaster Prevention” hosted by the Cabinet Office and others, and conducted a session on the basics of business continuity plans (BCP) for small and medium-sized enterprises. With the risk of business operations being disrupted by earthquakes, wind/water damage and other natural disasters no longer uncommon, this content will prove helpful in minimizing damage in the event of a contingency and in enabling companies to quickly restore their core businesses. In March 2015 an “Agreement on Supporting Corporate BCP Formulation, etc.” was concluded with Miyagi Prefecture and four groups within the prefecture to help make communities and the country as a whole more resilient through BCP, and projects have been undertaken to popularize BCP. This session featured a report on the projects being implemented and introduced leading examples of BCP by companies.

Creating Infrastructure with Disaster Resilience

Regional Revitalization Support

The initiative to promote regional revitalization is one of the priority ones of the Japanese government and is being pursued across the country as a measure against rapid population decline and aging society. The MS&AD Insurance Group supports regional revitalization by helping industrial development activities that meet the characteristics of each region.

Regional Revitalization Support Menu

MSI implements the “Regional Revitalization Support Menu” in collaboration with local governments, etc. to develop and support small business owners and entrepreneurs with the aim of revitalizing regional economies.

This Menu is a package that contains the know-how accumulated thus far by the MSI Management Support Center on “working style reform support (personnel and labor),” “sales channel exploiting (marketing capability enhancement) support,” “entrepreneur development,” “successor development,” “inbound business support” and more. It can be deployed as a program in each region. Working with regional governments and other parties, MSI is working to offer seminars and individual assistance with the objective of enabling small business owners and entrepreneurs to continue achieving sustainable growth independently.

Regional Revitalization Project

ADI sets forth being “local community-oriented” as one of its action guidelines and has always worked to provide contributory activities and other initiatives to local communities. In April 2016, in order to further advance its local community-oriented initiatives, ADI launched a regional revitalization project in response to accelerating movements to promote regional revitalization in regions across the country. With the two pillars of providing a menu of beneficial solutions for issues relating to “communities, people, and jobs” of regions, as well as contributory activities to regional communities, this project supports regional revitalization initiatives. In February 2018, for signature initiative examples by financial institutions, etc. contributing to regional revitalization in FY2017, ADI’s initiative “Holding an Open Innovation Event for Tourism Business Promotion, and Underwriting Business Confidence Insurance from Financial Institutions” was authorized, received a Minister’s Award, and was highly evaluated in many ways.

Collaboration & Comprehensive Partnership Agreement, etc. with Local Governments

The MS&AD Insurance Group enters into collaboration and comprehensive partnership agreements, etc. with local governments that promote administrative measures toward revitalizing local economies and building safe and secure communities. The Group also provides risk consulting services and promotes industrial development by effectively making use of the unique characteristics of each region. These initiatives are taken in an effort to contribute to the development of a safe and secure society. Through public-private initiatives, we work to build resilient communities.

Major Initiatives

Enhancing Services for Local Community Development and Regional Residents

MSI and ADI concluded a comprehensive cooperation agreement (wide collaboration agreement) with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government with the aim of further enhancing services for local community development and residents of Tokyo, and undertake comprehensive project collaboration in nine fields relating to health promotion, culture, sports promotion, regional safety and peace of mind, the environment, work-life balance and women’s empowerment, support for SMEs, disaster prevention and reduction, support for childrearing and elderly people, regional community activation and enhancing services for residents of Tokyo.

Building resilient communities

The MS&AD Insurance Group supports and assists local governments and local companies implement crisis management measures in preparation for natural disasters and other unforeseen situations. ADI contributes to building communities that are resilient to disasters through holding BCP (Business Continuity Plan) seminars and supporting risk management by using the BCP formulation kit.

Building disaster-resilient communities

ADI contributes to building communities that are resilient to disasters through holding BCP (Business Continuity Plan) seminars and supporting risk management by using the BCP formulation kit.

Support for companies entering overseas markets

MSI entered into a partnership agreement with Miyagi Prefecture, etc. and has been conducting support activities using its international networks deployed in various countries, such as providing companies that have entered overseas markets with information on politics, economy, livelihood (safety), etc. of overseas countries, holding seminars and individual consulting sessions for companies operating in overseas markets, and providing information locally to observation teams visiting overseas locations.

Support for the development of agriculture

ADI collaborates with local governments and local financial institutions in holding risk management seminars for sixth-sector industrialization of agriculture and taking other initiatives.

 

Fire Insurance for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises

MSI and ADI jointly developed a fire insurance targeted at small- and medium-sized enterprises, and commenced sale of the product. In addition to the introduction of the insurance premiums discount system according to actual risks, it is possible to have flexible compensation plans in accordance with the needs of customers, such as setting the amount of deductibles by types of accidents, and adding coverage for damages from business suspension and indemnity liabilities.

Investment in Regional Economy Vitalization Corporation of Japan

MSI and ADI support the efforts to revitalize local economies by investing in the fund established by the Regional Economy Vitalization Corporation of Japan (REVIC). The objective is to support the prompt management improvement of firms standing at the core of local communities and help to develop core firms that serve important roles for local communities.

Investment in Loan Funds for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises

MSI supports the growth and business revitalization of small- and medium- sized enterprises through investing in fund, established by TOPAZ CAPITAL, INC., that for the first time in Japan provides risk money mainly based on loans.

The “MS&AD Insurance Group Award” for Venture Companies

In February 2017, MSI gave “the Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Award” to three venture companies at the business contest “MIRAI 2017” organized by a corporate consortium "Incubation & Innovation Initiative." “MIRAI 2017” is Japan’s largest-level business contest aimed at supporting the creation and growth of businesses that can have an impact on society. Several original themes deeply connected with insurance were set and ideas were widely solicited from corporations and individuals. The three companies that received the award have high affinity with the business of MSI along with excellent know-how, and MSI will begin considering pursuing collaboration in each of the relevant fields going forward. MSI works to develop innovative products and services through pursuing collaboration with various companies and widely incorporating external insights and know-how.

Strengthening the Ability to Recover from Disasters

Spreading Earthquake Insurance

Based on the "Act for Earthquake Insurance", earthquake insurance is managed by both government and the non-life insurance companies, and aims to contribute to rebuilding the stability of disaster victims' lives. The needs of earthquake insurance have been increasing since the Great East Japan Earthquake, the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake, and the 2018 Osaka earthquake. MSI and ADI rediscovered the importance of customers understanding the necessity and the contents of earthquake insurance correctly. For many people to get earthquake insurance, we are offering advice about earthquake risks to our customers.

Smartphone App Useful During and After Disasters

MSI offers smartphone services that help out during disasters and to help users in areas hit by large-scale natural disasters to be safe and secure.

Smartphone Disaster Navigator

  • Guidance function that uses the phone’s GPS and camera (AR) to provide directions to evacuation sites designated nationwide by local governments
  • Registration/confirmation of information on user’s safety
  • Real-time provision of disaster prevention information disseminated by ministries, agencies and local governments based on the user’s present location; “Know-how for Disasters” provided free of charge for use during disasters
  • Services available to everyone, not just policyholders
  • Services available in foreign languages (English, Chinese, Korean)

Earthquake! Where Are You? Service

  • Services provided through the special “GK Home Insurance Grand” appl launched in April 2017
  • Automatically detects the location of family members and other persons registered in advance when an emergency earthquake alert is announced and shares information by push notification feature
  • Confirms the locations of family members and shares information on their safety even right after an earthquake when telephone connections are unreliable
  • Service available for individual “GK Home Insurance Grand” fire insurance policyholders

 

Providing “Branch/Office Seismic Intensity Checker”

Since July 2018 MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting has been providing a members-only website (“Branch/Office Seismic Intensity Checker”) that allows users to immediately confirm seismic intensity information for their company’s branches/offices or those of a business partner when an earthquake of Shindo 6-lower or higher intensity occurs in Japan.

A major earthquake of Shindo 6-lower or higher intensity could cause communications outages, damage at branch/office locations, or other circumstances that might prevent access to needed information from parties in remote areas but, armed with at least seismic intensity information, damage can be forecast and prompt steps taken such as (1) prioritizing responses and (2) making preparations to implement these responses. The recently developed “Branch/Office Seismic Intensity Checker” will promptly deliver this seismic intensity information. MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting supports companies’ disaster prevention/BCM efforts by offering consulting on forecasting disasters, establishing response rules and implementing first response/recovery drills premised on utilization of this website.

Overview

  • This is a members-only website giving users quick access to seismic intensity information for stipulated locations such as their own company’s branches or those of suppliers when an earthquake of Shindo 6-lower or higher intensity occurs in Japan.
  • Entering just the address information (CSV-format) of the pre-registered locations at the website will allow users to quickly obtain (1) the branch’s/office’s position mapped onto a seismic intensity distribution map, and (2) seismic intensity data listed by location.
  • Another key point is that information on up to 300 locations can be obtained simultaneously in one step.

 

 

Supporting Quick Recovery from Disasters

MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting collaborates with Niigata University, Shizuoka University, the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED) and others to help local governments introduce a “Disaster Victim Livelihood Reconstruction Support System” through business-academic cooperation. This Disaster Victim Livelihood Reconstruction Support System is designed to provide comprehensive support to local governments in their efforts to restore the livelihoods of disaster victims, including the issuance of disaster victim certificates, and to establish a society able to help disaster victims promptly rebuild their independent livelihoods. When the Kumamoto earthquake struck in April 2016, this system proved itself very useful in facilitating procedures for issuing disaster victim certificates in the afflicted areas.

 

”Disaster Victim Livelihood Reconstruction Support System”
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”Disaster Victim Livelihood Reconstruction Support System”

Cat bonds (catastrophe bonds) issuance support services

MSI provides services that support issuance of Cat bonds (*) for customers such as infrastructure-related companies and manufacturers with large production bases.
In recent years, the occurrence of major earthquakes or the progress of climate change have led to increase in customers' demands for preparing a large-scale natural disaster risk. We have decided to launch this service in response to such demands.
The service will reduce customers’ burden of cumbersome administrative procedures associated with Cat bonds issuance as well as realize customers’ diversification of hedging methods for catastrophe risks through our advice on setting optimal issuance conditions etc.

 

(*) A Cat bond is a mechanism which transfers catastrophe risks such as earthquakes or typhoons from one party to investors in the capital markets. As long as no disaster exceeding a predetermined threshold occurs, investors (Cat bond purchasers) receive coupons periodically and have principal repaid at maturity. However, in the event that a disaster exceeding such threshold occurs, the principal to be repaid to investors is reduced partially or entirely so that it is used to compensate customers for their losses.

Comprehensive Insurance for Corporate Expenses/Profits (Special Provisions on Compensation for Specified Earthquake Hazards)

To address the rising need for earthquake risk countermeasures prompted by the large-scale earthquakes that have occurred in recent years and by government forecasts of future earthquakes, ADI since July 2016 has been providing products that compensate for lost profits when large-scale earthquakes disrupt companies’ business operations. In future, the company will also offer products/services that help companies promptly recover from disasters.

BCP Support Tools for Welfare Facilities

MSI, ADI, and MS&AD InterRisk Research & Consulting have developed earthquake/water damage BCP preparation support tools for welfare facilities and hazard prediction training tools for nursing/welfare facilities, and the companies provide these tools for free. ADI has been utilizing some of these tools in conducting training sessions on preparing BCP in various communities. The companies will continue to make efforts to prevent accidents/disasters that affect welfare services and to provide information/tools that help keep these services available when disasters strike.