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Five of Japan’s six biggest nonlife insurers, including Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., acknowledged Tuesday that some of their policyholders may have been wrongfully denied policy payouts in the past.

The other four insurers are Sompo Japan Insurance Inc., Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co., Aioi Insurance Co. and Nipponkoa Insurance Co.

Industry sources estimate the five insurers may be responsible for tens of thousands of nonpayment cases over the past three years.

All five companies apologized and said they would disclose the details of the expanding scandal, such as the number of cases and the amount of unpaid benefits, by the end of August.

“We deeply apologize (to policyholders concerned) and are now in the process of making payments as soon as possible,” Tokio Marine, one of the nation’s six biggest property and casualty insurers, said in a statement.

According to the five insurers, many of the nonpayment cases involved benefits for covering extraordinary costs incurred in auto insurance contracts, such as transportation expenses for visiting those who were injured by policyholders in accidents.

They said they would put measures in place to prevent nonpayments from recurring.

Tokio Marine confirmed that nonpayments had occurred after news reports emerged earlier in the month that several nonlife insurers — including the six leaders — had failed to make several hundred million yen in payments in more than 10,000 cases over the past three years.

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