Major insurers may be involved in Bigmotor insurance fraud – regulator

Sompo, Mitsui Sumitomo, and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire employees were on loan to the car dealer, a precursor for give-and-take activities

Major insurers may be involved in Bigmotor insurance fraud – regulator

Motor & Fleet

By Kenneth Araullo

The transport ministry of Japan is set to hold hearings with used car dealer Bigmotor following its recent insurance fraud scandal, with new reports emerging that several major Japanese insurers may have had knowledge and were involved in the scheme.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan will continue to investigate the insurance fraud scandal amidst concerns that several insurance firms were, at the very least, turning a blind eye to the false claims in exchange for Bigmotor providing their liability policies to customers who purchased used cars.

According to a report from Japan Today, the investigative report into the scandal found that a total of 37 employees from Sompo Japan Insurance were on loan to Bigmotor since 2011, underscoring the possibility of a give-and-take relationship and awareness of the car dealer’s fraudulent activities. Several employees under Mitsui Sumitomo and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire were also found to be on loan to Bigmotor.

Sompo Japan has since released a statement saying that it will conduct an investigation into Bigmotor and “deal strictly” with the matter, a Bloomberg report said.

Disgraced president resigns

As a result of the insurance fraud report, company president Hiroyuki Kaneshige also announced his resignation during a press conference. He will officially step down from his post on July 26, the same day that Bigmotor’s hearings with the transport ministry are set to begin.

"We've caused so much trouble and concern to customers and nonlife insurance companies. I am truly sorry," Kaneshige said. Before this development, the Bigmotor president said that he would return one year’s worth of compensation because of the scandal.

In his statement to the press, Kaneshige also absolved the company’s top brass, saying that they were not involved in the insurance fraud.

Bigmotor has since released a statement saying that it will expand the scope of its investigation after calls from insurers to open a third-party probe.

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