Financial regulators warns insurers for promoting cancer insurance from Fukushima disaster

The Financial Services Commission (FSC) and Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) of South Korea have issued strong warnings to certain insurers in the country for promoting insurance sales based on the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the potential increase in cancer rates due to contaminated water discharge.

Japan is set this summer to begin dumping more than a million tonnes of treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which was destroyed in a 2011 earthquake.

FSC and FSS announced their firm stance against unfair solicitation tactics employed by these insurers, reported Korea Bizwire.

Specifically, some insurers were found to have conducted telephone marketing campaigns, claiming that cancer insurance was necessary due to the potential spread of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which would lead to an increased risk of cancer in Korea in the future.

Many critical illness insurance plans which are also defined benefit plans also cover various types of cancers. A cancer care policy is designed to specifically address the medical requirements related to cancer treatment only, whereas a critical illness plan with cancer coverage caters to listed chronic conditions and critical illnesses, cancer being one of them.

The financial regulators urged the insurers to cease such unsafe business practices immediately and take measures to prevent their recurrence.

The regulators will monitor closely sales activities that generate consumer anxiety based on unscientific information.

Financial regulators warns insurers for promoting cancer insurance from Fukushima disaster

On 11 March 2011, a nuclear accident occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Ōkuma, Fukushima, Japan. The proximate cause of the disaster was the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, which remains the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan.

The earthquake triggered a powerful tsunami, with 13- to 14-meter-high waves damaging the nuclear power plant’s emergency diesel generators, leading to a loss of electric power.

The result was the most severe nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, classified as level seven on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES) after initially being classified as level five, and thus joining Chernobyl as the only other accident to receive such classification.

Fukushima nuclear plant chiefs found liable for record $104 bn in damages. A Tokyo court has found four former executives at the operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant liable for a record $104 bn in damages over the meltdown at its reactors after it was struck by a tsunami in 2011.

Financial regulators warns insurers for promoting cancer insurance from Fukushima disaster

While the 1957 explosion at the Mayak facility was the second worst by radioactivity released, the INES ranks incidents by impact on population, so Chernobyl (335,000 people evacuated) and Fukushima (154,000 evacuated) rank higher than the 10,000 evacuated from the Mayak site in the rural southern Urals.

Nataly Kramer    by Nataly Kramer