Much has been said about this.
I’d say the most notable take-away from this disaster is the awesome achievement of the preparedness of the Japanese for this kind of thing. I read somewhere that earthquakes you can FEEL happen almost every day down there.
If any country can take a right hook from Planet Earth, it’s Japan.
Professionally, I do very little Japanese business, so I don’t have an awesome intuitive feel for the market reaction here. The quake was a monster, possibly as high as third all time, depending how how the measurement revisions go.
And that’s the most important point, I suppose. Quakes are notoriously hard to get a handle on quickly. The property damage can take literally years to uncover (think cracked foundations and leaky pipes).
Throw in a wonky nuclear plant and extant flooding from the tsunami and it’s a big fat question mark.
But these people don’t buy too much EQ insurance (it’s pricey and they feel pretty prepared), so I’m pessimistic about the damage to the marketplace. April 1st is a big renewal date, particularly for the Japanese covers.
It won’t take too much internal finangling for the ex-US folks to wrestle some capital away from the dead-in-the-water US casualty market.