A Simple Guide to Home Insurance in Japan

Poste date: Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Living in Japan as a foreigner, you may face challenges due to culture shock, language barriers and just plain cross-cultural misunderstanding. But beyond these obvious daily experiences, foreign residents may also have to overcome hurdles in times of stress or disaster. When you own or rent a property in Japan and something goes wrong, what do you do? While the best plan is to prepare ahead with relevant insurance as you would in your own country, finding and buying home insurance in Japan can be tough even if you speak Japanese well. Fortunately, we’re here to help.

In addition to explaining the basic coverage and cost of a typical Japan insurance policy for home or rental, this handy guide also includes a list of English-speaking insurance agencies in Tokyo to help you make the best decisions possible during your stay.

Home Insurance in Japan: The Basics

Fire Insurance

When you rent or own a home or business in Japan you need fire insurance. In fact many apartments require fire insurance in their leasing contract.

Simply stated, fire insurance covers your prized possessions in the case of damage by fire, smoke etc. But the great news is that your plan will also usually cover other damages, caused by events as common as the following:

  • When a wayward toddler breaks your computer or the antique pottery you’ve collected in your travels.
  • When your washing machine gets overexcited and overflows, soaking your floor and the neighbors room downstairs.
  • When you are practicing to be the next David Beckham and your soccer ball takes a dramatic turn, hitting and injuring someone nearby.

How much does fire insurance cost?

Average fire insurance in Japan costs between ¥20,000 - ¥40,000 for 2 years, with the price being a bit higher depending on what other options you choose to add. Of course, you should check with your insurance company both for the exact prices and possible additions to your plan.

What does it cover?

Fire insurance coverage mainly includes these 3 categories:

Home Contents

- Designed to keep your possessions safe. The cost of your policy will be decided based on your valuables. This figure is set in broad groupings with coverage limits and not as an itemized plan more commonly available in other countries

Tenant Liability

- This covers accidents causing damage inside the home or even to your neighbor’s units. Things like an overflowing bathtub, a gas fire when someone forgets that frypan full of potatoes on the stove or other mishaps.

Personal Liability

- This very helpful part of Japan insurance plan covers you in case someone’s property is damaged or they become injured either due to an accident involving you or through negligence on your part. For example, if you are in a bike accident and run into someone on the street, this part of your insurance plan would cover medical costs and property damages for the other person involved.

Please note that some companies provide insurance for their international employees living in Japan on temporary contracts. You should confirm if this is the case for you and ask for details of what is included in your coverage. You might still want to add a Japanese fire insurance policy to make sure you are covered for household emergencies and accidents.

Although it may seem as if earthquakes should be part of this coverage, in reality regular fire insurance in Japan does not cover natural disasters. Fortunately there is an additional insurance option, appropriately called earthquake insurance, that is there to help in those dangerous situations.

Earthquake Insurance

As you probably already know, living in Japan means that it is necessary to prepare for earthquakes. However, Japan insurance policies dictate that fire insurance does not cover damage caused by earthquakes, including fire-related damage that may spread as a result of one. Therefore it is essential to add additional earthquake insurance to your policy. Be aware that you can only get this coverage as an add-on, as it is not sold as a stand alone product. Japan Earthquake Insurance Guide: A Simple Q&A

How much does earthquake insurance cost?

According to Japan’s Ministry of finance, earthquake insurance policy fees are different in each prefecture with the minimum cost being around 6500 yen and the maximum around 32,600 yen per year. Please see their website for further details.

Ministry of Finance Japan: Outline of Japan’s Earthquake Insurance System

What does it cover?

Earthquake insurance is exclusively for earthquake disasters. It covers loss of your personal items (including household goods) as well as property damage caused by fire, destruction, landslides, and rubble or water damage, assuming that all of the former happened as a result of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunami.

Please note that your add-on earthquake coverage will not cover precious metals, jewels and antiques with values exceeding 300,000 yen per item or per set, currency, securities, deposits and savings certificates, revenue stamps, postage stamps, or automobiles.

Getting your Japan Insurance Policy Needs Met

When either renting or owning property in Japan, choosing, purchasing and maintaining insurance to help cover the costs of damage, loss, liability and earthquake and disaster damage is crucial for your safety and peace of mind.

While we understand that some may choose coverage with firms outside Japan, we would like to help you make the best policy choices for you and your family in the country you will be calling home for the next few months or years.

To that end, we have compiled a short list of English-speaking insurance companies that can give overall policy advice, provide an estimate and help you file all the necessary documentation. They will give you a clear understanding of your policy and all the costs involved so that you can feel comfortable and confident in your choice of insurance coverage.

English Speaking Home Insurance Companies in Tokyo


  • From fire insurance estimates and explanations of policy details to follow-up consultations, the staff delivers native-level service in English, Chinese, and Korean. Pliant strives to provide not only insurance but also peace of mind to foreign residents.
  • https://www.pliant.jp/ (Japanese)
  • https://japan-insurance.com/ (English)
  • 03-5259-8560



Chubb Insurance

Located an 8-min walk from Shibuya Station is a designer apartment with 1 unit on 1 floor. It comes with solid security arrangements such as privacy conscious shared spaces and indoor hallway, double locking and dimple keys. It also comes with 24-hour reliable support and Medical health service 24.

JPY 236,000 - 400,000/month

Designer apartment at convenient location, 4-minute walk to Shibuya Station. Chic interior decoration, fancy design.

JPY 194,000 - 210,000/month

Located close to Ikedayama Park, an urban oasis, within walking distance of Gotanda Station, Meguro Station, Shirokanedai Station, and Takanawadai Station, which make possible easy access to various areas in central Tokyo. This high-grade condominium apartment features a beautiful building shape and stands in spacious grounds with a variety of plants. The units come with various fine and functional room equipment.

JPY 190,000 - 310,000/month

Exterior of Nishi-azabu 2-chome House A
Sale Property tag

Located in a quiet residential area, within walking distance of Family Mart, Nishi-Azabu Post Office, Seijo Ishii, Roppongi Hills and Nezu Museum. Within Roppongi Hills you can enjoy shopping, restaurants, banks, cinemas, museums and In winter, the Roppongi Keyakizaka Dori street is illuminated. The Wakabakai Kindergarten is an 8-minute walk away, Kougai Elementary School zone, a 9-minute walk away, and Koryo Junior High School zone, a 10-minute walk away. The basement floor is used for parking. The ground floor consists of an entrance hall, a bedroom and a service room, with a bathroom, a powder room and a toilet in between. They are positioned to suit everyday lifestyles. The service room is fitted with a large walk-in closet and two storage areas, providing ample storage space. The second floor consists of the living/dining room and kitchen area. There is a roof balcony from where you can enjoy the view of Nishi-Azabu from the kitchen. The third floor has two bedrooms and a balcony.


Exterior of Shuwa Sakuragaoka Residence
Sale Property tag

Shuwa Sakuragaoka Residence is an apartment built in August 1970, with a total of 94 units, located in Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku. The property is located within walking distance of Shibuya Station on the JR Yamanote Line, Saikyo Line, Shonan Shinjuku Line, and other lines (approx. 8 minutes) and Daikanyama Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line (approx. 13 minutes), and the Shibuya area, which is bustling with redevelopment, is within walking distance. The location is also attractive as it is within walking distance of Shibuya Station yet is located in a quiet residential area. The exterior of the building has a European-style impression with white and blue as its basic colors, and large-scale repair work is currently underway, scheduled for completion in late December. Furthermore, the building is equipped with an auto-lock system that operates from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. during the night, allowing residents to enjoy a safe and secure stay in the heart of the city. Seven-Eleven Shibuya Uguisudani-machi Store is approximately 190m away, Shibuya Hachiyama Park is approximately 230m away, Maruetsu Petit Shibuya Uguisudani-machi Store is approximately 400m away, Shibuya Uguisu Park is approximately 400m away, and many other convenience stores and restaurants are within walking distance, making it a convenient place to live.

JPY 56,800,000

Exterior of Park Luxe Toranomon
Sale Property tag

Park Luxe Toranomon is an 18-story condominium, built in February 2019, formerly owned by Mitsui Fudosan Residential Co. Located about a 7-minute walk from Onarimon Station on the Toei Mita Line, about a 9-minute walk from Kamiyacho Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, and about a 10-minute walk from Toranomon Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, it offers convenient access to major areas in Tokyo such as Ginza, Omotesando, and Shibuya. The hotel-like interior corridor design is full of a sense of luxury, and the entrance is equipped with an auto-lock system and security cameras, allowing you to live in the city with peace of mind. The Jikei University Hospital is approximately 190 meters away on foot, Toranomon Hills Mori Tower is approximately 270 meters away, and Shiba Park is approximately 650 meters away, making this an attractive location where you can not only enjoy living within walking distance of numerous restaurants and cafes, but also feel close to greenery.

JPY 128,000,000 - 135,000,000