Sompo Japan president reportedly tied to Bigmotor insurance scandal

Sources said that further probes were hampered due to the insurer's close ties with the used car dealer

Sompo Japan president reportedly tied to Bigmotor insurance scandal

Motor & Fleet

By Kenneth Araullo

Sompo Japan Insurance president Giichi Shirakawa allegedly advocated for the reinitiating of business dealings with Bigmotor last summer, despite having knowledge of potential fraudulent insurance claims by the used vehicle dealer.

According to individuals familiar with the situation, during Sompo Japan’s executive meeting in July of the previous year, some participants suggested launching an inquiry alongside the company’s voluntary investigation into Bigmotor’s claims. However, Shirakawa and some other executives expressed concern that an additional investigation might negatively impact Sompo Japan’s relationship with the used car dealer, which had contributed to an increase in the insurer’s auto insurance policyholders.

The company president suggested the resumption of business instead, according to a Nippon report. It was revealed that, last summer, Sompo Japan resumed sending damaged vehicles to Bigmotor garages ahead of other major nonlife insurers.

In a related development, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki issued a stern warning of severe consequences if a report, which Sompo Japan is obligated to submit to the Financial Services Agency by the end of this month, indicates the insurer’s failure to safeguard policyholders.

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