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Japan's big six in the dock for overcharging


TOKYO—Japan's six biggest nonlife insurance companies have overcharged policyholders nearly 6 billion yen in premiums on about 100,000 fire insurance contracts, according to a report in "The Asahi Shimbun" newspaper.

The Japanese Financial Services Agency asked nonlife insurance companies to carry out investigations into overcharging in December.

It is thought that the amount overcharged is certain to increase when the companies examine all the contracts as they are renewed over the coming year. Friday's figures are based on preliminary findings of the insurers' in-house investigations, which cover only selected samples, said "The Shimbun."

In the majority of cases, the companies failed to apply discount rates to houses and condominiums that were built with refractory materials or used fire-resistant structures. The companies have reportedly promised to refund the overcharged premiums.