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Earthquake-insurance sales to homeowners grew more than five times in April from a year earlier, according to a report by the Non-Life Insurance Rating Organization of Japan.

A total of 130,776 new policies were sold in the month following the March quake and tsunami, compared with 23,847 in April 2010.

Pressure is rising to increase the maximum coverage for holders of quake insurance from the current ¥50 million for structures and ¥10 million for contents.

The March catastrophe destroyed or damaged more than 530,000 homes, many from the tsunami generated by the seismic upheaval. Earthquake payouts totaled ¥1.05 trillion, or 598,339 policies as of July 7, according to the General Insurance Association of Japan.

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