Bigmotor May Lose Insurance Agency Registration; Japan’s Financial Watchdog Begins Revocation Discussions

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Bigmotor logo

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) has begun discussions about revoking Bigmotor Co.’s insurance agency registration, it has been learned. The major used car sales dealer has been implicated in fraudulent auto insurance claims.

The FSA could issue administrative action against the dealer as early as this month, based on the Insurance Business Law. The financial watchdog has deemed actions by Bigmotor employees malicious. Vehicles that customers had brought in for repair were deliberately damaged and nonlife insurance companies were then charged with an inflated amount for the repairs.

Bigmotor is registered with the local finance bureaus as an insurance agency and signed contracts with major nonlife insurance companies to help customers sign auto liability insurance and sell them voluntary insurance. The FSA started conducting on-site inspections of Bigmotor facilities in September to check if it was violating any laws.

In October, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry imposed administrative penalties — including suspension of business — on 34 maintenance facilities under the road transport vehicle law.

Bigmotor’s business performance has been deteriorating rapidly. It would inevitably suffer a further blow if it is no longer able to provide insurance agency services. Major insurance companies have already decided to terminate their agency contracts with the company.