GIAJ Chairman's Statement released on March 19, 2009 (Summary translation)(March 19, 2009

Mr. Makoto Hyodo, Chairman
Mr. Makoto Hyodo, Chairman

1. Introduction

According to the business results of the 26 GIAJ member companies for the nine months ending December 2008, net premiums written decreased by 3.5% over the previous year due to the reduction of premium rates for Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance (CALI) and a fall in premium income from automobile insurance. Thus, the general insurance industry is still in a severe situation, being seriously affected by the real economy.

The GIAJ has drawn up its 5th Mid-term Business Plan which will commence this April. This plan consists of the five pillars, "Enhancement of Communication with Consumers", "Improvement of the Quality of Business Processes and Customer Inter-relations", "Development of the Business Infrastructure", "Contribution to Social Safety and Security", and "Contribution to the Global Community".

2. Specific Measures and Actions

(1) Aiming at "consumer-friendly" general insurance (initiatives to improve the quality of business processes and customer inter-relations)

A. Holding an "Advisory Panel to Listen to Consumers' Voices"

On March 5, 2009, the "Advisory Panel to Listen to Consumers' Voices" met to discuss the GIAJ's initiatives as conducted at its branch offices all over the country. Based on the panel's views and recommendations concerning our consumer treatments, we will further promote initiatives beneficial to consumers.

B. Strengthening information service to consumers and customers

The GIAJ has so far distributed a total of 500,000 copies of "Freshers' Guide", a general insurance buyers' guidebook for the young. We have also held study sessions with consultants of local consumer centers throughout the country.

C. Enhancing the quality of agents and solicitors

Under the qualification renewal system and the insurance product learning system both introduced last year, we will further enhance the quality of a total of 2 million general insurance solicitors

D. Improving the quality of business processes and customer inter-relations based on consumers' voices

In response to a suggestion by consumer centers that further explanations should be provided when consumers file claims, we have revised the Self-Imposed Guideline so as to call for attention of claims management staffs. We have also undertaken a follow-up research into member companies' compliance with the guidelines already in effect.

(2) Aiming at socially-friendly general insurance

A. Contributing to environmental protection

We have encouraged member companies to display stickers on their company-owned cars to promote the "Eco-Safe Driving" program, which contributes to the reduction of traffic accidents as well as emissions of carbon dioxide. We also plan to expand this initiative outside the association.

B. Contributing to social safety and security

a. Activities related to CALI

The GIAJ has allocated investment income from accumulated CALI premium not only to the reserve for the future CALI result improvement, but also to the contribution to initiatives such as support for traffic accident victims and promotion of emergency medical systems. Over 2.1 billion yen has been earmarked for these initiatives in fiscal 2009.

b. Response to fraudulent claims

The GIAJ collects information on specific instances of fraudulent claims in cooperation with local police agencies, sharing such information with its member companies.

(3) Other initiatives

A. Strengthening the GIAJ's capacity to resolve consumer complaints

In light of a report on an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system compiled by the Financial System Council, we will take appropriate steps and make every effort to strengthen our capacity to deal with consumers complaints.

B. Publication of "Sustainability Report 2009"

Today, we have published a "Sustainability Report 2009". This is aimed at further communication with consumers, introducing how we have been promoting initiatives to improve the quality of business processes and customer inter-relations.