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Car insurance enters competitive age; AIU lowers premiums

Date Posted: 2003-07-05

AIU Insurance Company has some good news for U.S. military members. Following the liberalization of the Japanese car insurance market, the company has decided to break away from a pact with other insurance companies that provide auto insurance to U.S. service members in Japan, and switch to an American-style system where the insurance companies are free to set their premiums.

According to AIU, this means that the premium that a service member pays for the overage of his vehicle will go down in most cases. The new premiums took effect July 1.

The discounting became possible with a change in Japanese insurance law that liberalized the premiums. That also means that the two companies who are the main competitors in providing insurance coverage to U.S. service members stationed in Japan, are now free to compete with prices as they see fit. It also means that it is worth while for a serviceman or woman to shop around when they need car insurance.

Shoji Muro, the AIU Insurance Company Okinawa Branch manager says that if the rate of compensation claims in Okinawa continues its current downward trend, it is very possible that his company can cut the rates even more. "It is the duty of an insurance company to provide coverage to its customers at the best possible price. In this age of liberalization it is only natural that insurers take into account what the actual situation is, and lower the rates whenever reasonable," Muro says. He also said that AIU is working hard to improve other aspects of their services as well. "Right now, improving and speeding up our claim service is another item that is high on our agenda," Muto concluded.

As an example of the new rates, AIU cites a virtual small sedan owned by a married serviceman with pay grade E4. If the coverage is 30 million for bodily injury and 3 million property damage, the cost for a three-month insurance goes down to 15,640 from the current 17,590.

AIU has provided insurance for U.S. service members in Okinawa for over 50 years. AIU is also actively participating in the everyday life of the U.S. military community in Okinawa. It is actively supporting charitable causes such as Special Olympics and the USO.

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