Japanese Insurers Support Industry’s Online Marketplace

TOKYO AND LONDON – March 11, 2003. inreon, the reinsurance industry’s online marketplace, has announced an expansion of its international operations to cover Japan. Two major insurers from the world’s second largest insurance market – Sompo Japan and Fuji Fire & Marine – have already signed membership agreements in order to begin trading via the platform.

Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. is one of the top non-life insurers in Japan with annual net written premiums of Yen 1,193bn (approx. US$10bn). Formed through the merger of Yasuda Fire & Marine and Nissan Fire & Marine in July 2002, the company aims to use inreon for reducing costs both in ceding and assuming reinsurance.

Fuji Fire & Marine writes all lines of property and casualty insurance business for personal and commercial risks and recorded net written premiums of Yen 301.8bn (approx US$2.5bn) in the year to March 2002. The company expects the inreon platform to help provide new reinsurance partners and better rates for both catastrophe protections and facultative needs.

Japan accounted for more than 18% of global insurance premiums in 2001 (source: Swiss Re, sigma No.6/2002), second only behind the United States. Total non-life premiums were US$89,114m, 65% of the total for the whole of Asia.

“The Japanese market is hugely influential within the international insurance industry and, as a truly global online trading service, it is vital for inreon to be serving companies there,” commented Kaj Ahlmann, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of inreon.

“The platform has already proven successful in several other key Asia markets, including Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Japan represents the next logical step in inreon’s growth and Sompo Japan and Fuji Fire & Marine will prove important additions to the company?s membership.”

There are now three Japanese members of inreon and a total of 19 companies across Asia that have joined the platform to date. These include eight of the largest insurers in Taiwan and five of the biggest companies in Korea. Worldwide 123 insurers, brokers and reinsurers have signed the platform’s membership agreement.

Meanwhile in Europe several inreon members have now fully incorporated use of the platform into their reinsurance purchasing process. Alm. Brand a leading Danish insurer, for example, submitted all its year-end facultative property risks through the platform during the 2002/3 renewal season. All were successfully bound online with an average 44% placed via inreon and some risks placed 100%.

“I was positively surprised at how the system enabled us to quickly obtain competitive prices from a range of different reinsurers,” said Peter Flemmer, Reinsurance Manager. “As a result, our January 1 facultative renewals were completed much earlier than usual and with the data that is now on the platform, next year should be even easier. I think inreon will become an ongoing part of our reinsurance placements and we will also consider using inreon to process premiums and claims in future.”

For more information about inreon, visit www.inreon.com