Interview Initiatives for “Positive Peace” and “SDGs” Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance
At the Hiroshima Business Forum for Global Peace held in 2020, the attendees discussed various aspects of the relationship between business and peacebuilding. Mr. Tsuji Masahiro and Mr. Iwamatsu Kengo of Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd., one of the companies that participated in the forum, joined us to talk about their company’s efforts.
In the 2020 Hiroshima Declaration, the Our Specific Actions section stresses the importance of “engaging in the SDGs and actively contributing to the creation of Positive Peace through business activity.” This has a high affinity with our damage insurance business. Damage insurance has its origins in a spirit of mutual aid aimed at avoiding financial damage. In recent years, due to a rapid increase in typhoons, torrential rains, and other natural disasters, insurance payments have gone up.
However, we do more than simply compensate for post-accident financial burdens. We also focus on “ex-ante security” measures intended to prevent accidents and damage. For accidents that cannot be prevented, we work to provide “ex post-security,” which strives to minimize the damage and restore situations to normal.
For example, since 2017 we have sold car insurance with dashboard camera. This plan equips cars with functionality that warns the driver if they take their eyes off the road or if they are approaching a dangerous area. Also, in the event of an accident, footage from the camera is automatically transmitted and analyzed via AI and other methods. This allows for quick and accurate accident resolution. In other words, we contribute to Positive Peace by balancing “ex-ante relief” and “ex-post relief.”
In addition, in response to the intensification of natural disasters, we have used digital technology to improve our in-house system. Now, accidents can be registered from remote locations and payments can be issued smoothly. As for climate change, our group company Tokio Marine dR displays uses a real-time map to display the risks of river flooding, strong winds, and landslides. It also provides consulting for corporate disaster response and crisis management.
Our management philosophy is to “Contribute to economic growth and the development of a prosperous and comfortable social life by providing ‘safety and security,’ holding customer trust as the starting point of all our business activities.” This is deeply related to all 17 of the SDGs. For example, the above-mentioned car insurance with dashboard camera falls under Goal 3 of the SDGs, “Good Health and Well-Being.” We pursue these initiatives not only as a business but also to contribute to society.
Furthermore, in our Mid-Term Business Plan formulated in April, we set our management concept as “Transformation (“X”) and Challenge to Growth 2023: Aiming to be the company most chosen for quality and its passion.” Our reason for being is to “Protect customers and local communities from what may come.” Going forward, we have decided to thoroughly carry out that purpose, working to achieve sustained growth while promoting to solve societal issues. This is also in line with the stance of the SDGs. Incidentally, we consider the following five social issues: global climate change, increased burden of long-term and medical care due to aging and growth in medical technology, environmental changes caused by digitalization and other technological innovations, COVID-19 response and the creation of a coexisting society, and support for the industrial base that sustains economic growth and innovation. Over the next three years, we plan to tackle these challenges while making the most of digital technology.
As for the SDGs themselves, we have released a video series on our website titled “Learn About the SDGs.” The goal is to inform children, who will be responsible for our future, about the world that the SDGs aim for and the efforts that have been made to realize the goals. We believe it is our mission to convey to many people the importance of the SDGs. For children, we offer environmental awareness programs called “Green Lessons” for elementary school students nationwide. As of the end of 2020, lessons have been held 873 times. In-house, we have set up the Tokio Marine Group Sustainability CEO Award, which recognizes outstanding initiatives of our group companies and department stores.
“Learn About the SDGs” children’s video series explaining the SDGs (8 total)
Balancing business and social contribution
There are some difficult aspects to the insurance business. For example, at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake, we paid a lot of insurance money to protect our subscribers. However, as a result, our profits and compensation ability declined. This forced us to raise insurance premiums. Without profits, it is not possible to compensate subscribers, so profit balance is important.
To handle such a situation, our company is working on risk diversification through globalization. We aim to stabilize profits by balancing risks globally instead of taking domestic risks. We also believe focusing on “ex-ante safety” is an important strategy. Teaching people how to prepare for and handle disasters alleviates damage and reduces insurance premiums. This then helps contribute to our company’s survival and the development of a sustainable society.
Risks always arise in times of great change. There will be situations where we are needed. With the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, we received inquiries from many companies asking, “Don’t you have insurance that covers COVID-19 risks?” From January 2021, we newly established our Super Business Insurance: Infectious Disease Special Compensation Contract. We want to quickly respond to the needs of the times and contribute to the development of a society where people can feel safe and secure.
Thoughts on Hiroshima
Hiroshima has a history of atomic bombing and has also experienced many torrential rain disasters. On account of such serious issues, we look forward to the dissemination of Positive Peace. Industry-government-academia collaboration is necessary to achieve this, and we would like to actively participate by doing such things as supporting startups in the prefecture with our risk assessment packages and offering companies thinking about expanding overseas access to our company’s network.
In 2016, we established a new department to work on regional revitalization and are striving to conduct such activities. Of course, we also do business in Hiroshima. Following a torrential rain disaster in the Asa area, we signed a memorandum of understanding on disaster prevention and mitigation with Hiroshima Prefecture. Over five years, we held 128 “Disaster Prevention Lessons” for elementary school students. The classes teach students how to respond in the event of a disaster. We would like to continue to cooperate in a way that fits with the circumstances in Hiroshima.
President Hirose Shinichi teaches Disaster Prevention Lessons: Earthquakes & Tsunamis Edition (school visits to foster disaster prevention awareness)
Disaster prevention information website “For the Smiles of Tomorrow”
Tsuji Masahiro, Managing Executive Officer
Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.
Iwamatsu Kengo, Director & Hiroshima Branch Manager
Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.