As expected, the devastation in Japan is having a major impact on the wider global economy. The insurance industry is the latest sector that has announced difficulties as a result of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
On May 5, two Canadian companies joined the growing ranks of troubled firms as they announced losses for the first quarter of 2011. According to Bloomberg, Manulife, Canada’s biggest insurance agency, reported that its net income in the last four months fell by about 20 percent. The company lost about C$151 million (¥12.5 billion) in claims as a result of the twin disasters almost two months ago.
The loss would have been much bigger but the company was able to offset some of its losses in Japan with higher premiums in Canada and the U.S. Great West Life, another major Canadian Insurance company also reported their first quarter earnings yesterday. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canada’s public news organization, Great West Life lost C$75 million (¥6.2 billion) as a result of the earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand.