Using Digital Technology

Japan’s First Telematics Insurance Utilizing Smartphones ― Automobile Insurance Discount Up to 20% for Safe Drivers

Products & Service

Telematics insurance, while fairly standard in Europe and the US, has yet to be proactively developed as a product in Japan due to the establishment of a grading system in which applicable grades and insurance premiums change according to whether the insured party has been involved in an accident. However, thanks to recent digital technology innovations and discussion at Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism advisory committee in 2014, research into the effective application of telematics technology is moving forward in Japan.
In recent years the number of young people who own a car has fallen as use of rental and car sharing services has become more widespread. Insurance premiums for first time policyholders do not take safe driving records into account and tend to be high, and this cost is cited as one reason for not owning a vehicle.
To overcome this situation, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa has been engaged in research and development from the perspective of reducing insurance premiums for drivers who drive safely using telematics technology, offering a Smiling Road*1 and Portable Smiling Road, safe driving support services that use telematics.
The correlation between driving characteristics of the driver and the likelihood of an accident has become clear as a result of research and analysis into the enormous volume of big data obtained via Portable Smiling Road, using the telematics technology know-how accumulated by providing these services. We became the first insurance company in Japan to develop a telematics insurance product that offers up to a 20% discount on insurance premiums*2 according to the results of driving diagnosis. The introduction of an insurance premium discount based on the degree of safe driving enables us to offer customers more reasonable insurance premiums and to further encourage safe driving and support the creation of an accident-free society.

  1. Service for companies that supports safe driving using a dedicated drive recorder.
  2. Targets insurance premiums for new Sompo Japan Nipponkoa policy contracts with new vehicle owners who have not previously taken out a policy.

Insurance Premium Discount Image (image of smartphone screen currently being developed)

New Automobile Insurance Using Internet-of-Things (IoT) for Safer and More Enjoyable Driving

Products & Service

Saison Automobile and Fire Insurance took on board customer feedback from market research and launched a project that creates new values such as “visible,” “touchable,” “enjoyable driving,” and “accident prevention” that were previously lacking from the automobile insurance. As the first step, the company started offering ALSOK Reliable Accident Site Support Service in April 2016.
Having defined customer contact necessary to provide such values as “new enrollment experience for automobile insurance,” “enjoyable driving,” “reliable support at accident sites,” the company started offering new services that support day-to-day safe driving for contracts effected from July 2017 while enhancing the ALSOK Reliable Accident Site Support Service.

Customer Experiences Provided by New Services

Wearable Smart Glasses for Fire Insurance Accident Investigations

Products & Service

In October 2016 our group company FRESHHOUSE and Sompo Japan Nipponkoa started using wearable devices (smart glasses) for fire accident insurance investigations.
FRESHHOUSE carries out repair work for customers involved in accidents covered by fire insurance who are referred by Sompo Japan Nipponkoa. Given that repair work requires specialist fire insurance-related knowledge, wearable devices (smart glasses) were introduced to all offices in June 2017 to increase personnel capable of carrying out repair work and to homogenize service quality by using ICT and digital technology, as well as to expedite insurance payments by Sompo Japan Nipponkoa.


(1)FRESHHOUSE personnel wear smart glasses during on-site investigations into fire insurance accidents, and share images and sound from the property in real-time with a dedicated operator at FRESHHOUSE’s head office.

(2)The dedicated operator gives instructions using the images and sound filmed using the smart-glasses-based information transmitted in real time.

(3)Using the transmitted images, the dedicated operator creates and submits estimates necessary for insurance claims to Sompo Japan Nipponkoa.

Expanded Use of Drones ― First in Industry to Acquire Flight Authorization Nationwide from Japan’s Ministry

Products & Service

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa has prepared a safe operational system internally for using drones, and is the first insurer to obtain a general license to fly drones anywhere in Japan without the need to apply for permission each time from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. We aim to get a quicker and more accurate grasp of the extent of damage immediately after accidents or disasters and to pay insurance proceeds more quickly.
In August 2016 we were asked by Kumamoto Prefecture to assist in searching for missing people after the Kumamoto earthquakes. In February 2017 we took part in a joint initiative in Shinjuku, in the heart of Tokyo, to confirm the effectiveness of guiding stranded people using drones. We are using our advanced technology with the aim not only of paying insurance proceeds but also of contributing to society in responding to disasters.

Paperless Processing for Insurance Policy Applications ― Using ICT to Shorten Approval Procedures to Two Days

Products & Service

On July 19, 2016 Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Himawari Life started accepting paperless applications for insurance policies via tablets as the first step towards reforming operations using ICT (nicknamed: Himawari Mobile Navi). Himawari Mobile Navi allows application details to be checked and notices to be input hassle-free via screens on mobile devices, enabling application procedures to be completed with just one digital signature.
The results of medical assessments relating to health status conducted using automated assessment functions are instantly displayed on screen, and contracts can take effect the following day at the earliest.
The service is extremely popular with customers, and by March 2017 more than half of all applications for target policies were completed via Himawari Mobile Navi.
Going forward, we aim to be the most innovative insurance company in Japan, using advanced ICT technology to provide new services focusing on health as well as for insurance procedures, and offering optimal value to all our customers.

Introduced the IBM Watson Explorer for Insurance and Benefit Payment Services

Products & Service

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Himawari Life aims to be the most innovative life insurance company in Japan by providing unprecedented new value, and to transform itself into a health support enterprise that assists customers in improving their health and wellbeing.
As the first step towards such transformation, in March 2017, with support from IBM Japan, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Himawari Life completed demonstrations for the introduction of IBM® Watson Explorer, and based on the success of such tests, plans to start making full use of it to process insurance proceed and benefit claims during fiscal year 2017.
We aim to reduce the time required to process claims, which currently take an average of three business days, by automating payment of insurance proceeds and benefits, and to process and pay approximately 30% of claims* on the day the claim is received.

  • Excluding claims that require checks with medical institutions.

To date we have continued to work to ensure proper, prompt payment of claims, having already digitalized information such as medical certificates and introduced a system that alerts employees in charge of claim payments. With this recent addition of IBM Watson Explorer, we plan to reform our payment system.

Safe Driving Support Service “DRIVING!” for Individual Drivers (Especially Seniors)

Products & Service

While the number of road traffic accidents has continued to fall in recent years following improvements in the safety performance of automobiles, the accident rate among both elderly and young drivers remains high, and it is essential for drivers themselves to take safety measures.
Given this, we at Sompo Japan Nipponkoa believe our mission as a P&C insurance company is to provide peace of mind to inexperienced drivers and those who feel uneasy when driving, the elderly and their families. In March 2017 we began to offer a telematics-based service that uses a drive recorder (DRIVING! Living with a Car, hereinafter, “DRIVING!”).
Through the services we currently offer: Smiling Road*1 and Portable Smiling Road*2, we have successfully reduced the number of road traffic accidents by about 20%*3 through the telematics services. Drawing on such expertise in applications of digital technology, we plan to provide further peace of mind and safety to all drivers, and to help realize an accident-free society.

  1. Service for companies that supports safe driving using a dedicated drive recorder.
  2. Personal car navigation and driving assessment app that uses smartphones.
  3. Achieved with Smiling Road

<DRIVING! Set up>

Participated in Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative B3i

Products & Service

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa is a member of the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative B3i. B3i is a collaborative project led by 15 of the world’s leading insurance and reinsurance companies, and explores the potential use of blockchains (distributed ledger technology), and the possibility of building a shared platform in the global insurance industry.
B3i was launched in October 2016 by five European insurance and reinsurance companies. By December 2016 the number of participants had increased to 15, including our company, achieving a truly global scope that covers Asia, Europe and North America.
We will actively contribute to this global collaborative project, and use our expertise gained through participation in this global initiatives as our digital strategy. We see our digital technologies as one of the pillars of our growth, and will make use of them to develop products and services that contribute to the security, health, and wellbeing of our customers.

Japan’s First Disaster Response Test in Skyscraper-Dense Area Utilizing Drones

Products & Service

Central urban areas and surrounding residential areas, as exemplified by the Shinjuku Station Area, are strongly urged to take steps to respond swiftly to a disaster immediately after it occurs, ensure business continuity, and recover from the disaster, in addition to measures for disaster preparedness and resilience. Since 2007, the Council for Measures to Reduce Disaster Risks in the Shinjuku Station Area has continuously worked to carry out locally concerted drills mainly for massive earthquakes and to increase the disaster preparedness literacy of local residents. Through these initiatives, major issues that need to be addressed have emerged, including how to collect information just after the occurrence of a disaster, communicate relevant information to give smooth guidance, and share the information among major bases seamlessly.
Against this backdrop, in order to resolve these issues, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa, Sompo Risk Management & Health Care, Kogakuin University, Rikei Corporation, and Shinjuku Ward, all members of the Council (“Team Shinjuku”) teamed up to combine the technology, knowledge, and resources accumulated and utilized in their daily business operations and on February 11, 2017 conducted a test to verify the effectiveness. While promoting applied research into drones and wireless communication networks, we plan to continuously conduct tests going forward.

Partnership with Silicon Valley (US) Research Institutions for Automotive AI and Robotics Research

Products & Service

As digital technology surrounding automobiles rapidly progresses, Sompo Holdings needs to engage in cutting edge research and development in fields such as automobiles, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics, aiming to create new and exciting customer experiences in insurance and related services. We are the first insurance company in Japan to partner with Stanford University’s research institute, CARS*1 and Comet Labs*2, an incubator.
Through these research activities we strive to quickly grasp digitalization trends accelerating globally, to promote research and development for innovating products and services at each of our Group companies, and to offer customers further “security, health, and wellbeing.”

  1. CARS was established to invite competent personnel from educational institutions, automobile and IT industries, and government institutions to research the future of human-centered mobility and to understand how humans and machines work together.
  2. Comet Labs is a venture capital fund and startup platform to focus exclusively on AI and robotics technology.

Data Science Bootcamp ― HR Institute to Provide Training in Big Data and AI

Products & Service

Sompo Holdings will set up a Data Institute, a training institute, in the first half of fiscal year 2017 in collaboration with G’s ACADEMY TOKYO, an engineering training school operated by Digital Hollywood, in an effort to quickly unearth and develop talent responsible for future digital strategies within the Group. As a preliminary offering, we ran a Data Science Bootcamp course providing specialized training for data scientists in April 2017.

<Outline of the Data Institute>

  • The Data Institute provides comprehensive interdisciplinary training for data scientists and all persons working with data at our Group.
  • In the future, there are plans to offer a wide range of programs, including Data Science Bootcamps for experienced professionals, workshops for our employees, internships for students, and research programs for human resources development through joint research with universities and research institutions.
  • The aim is to be a pioneer in developing human resources in Japan with the skills to use big data including data science and AI, and to contribute to making Japanese companies more competitive in these areas.

Virtual Reality in Dementia Care Training


Sompo Care Next focuses on training personnel with a high level of expertise and on providing education on dementia care through various initiatives such as the establishment of a training center, the use of various sensors and ICT in nursing care records, and encouraging the acquisition of dementia care specialist qualifications. Striving to further advance human resource development relating to dementia care, we incorporated virtual reality (VR) into our recruitment activities in March 2017.
The VR content enables users to experience the core symptoms of dementia and scenes encountered on a daily basis when caring for dementia patients, giving them a sense of what life is like for people suffering from the affliction.
Through such VR experiences, users can have a simulated experience which helps put them in patients’ shoes, giving them an idea of the anxiety and confusion associated with dementia. This in turn enables them to better use their knowledge and skills in caring for people with dementia.
We believe such initiatives enable us to train more specialized personnel and to further improve the quality of our services in preparation for the continued advance of our super-aging society.

Corporate briefing