Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance (Jibaiseki)

In Japan, purchasing primary insurance is legally mandatory for every vehicle owner. The insurance name is Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance ("Jibaiseki" in Japanese). Jibaiseki is for protecting traffic accident victims. Jibaiseki's coverage is not wide and sufficient, but it compensates for bodily damages of almost all the victims. In this article, we take a closer look at what it is and how it works.

Why is it legally mandatory?

CALI (Jibaiseki) is legally mandatory to carry for all of the owners of major vehicles. (Supported by the Japanese Law, Act on Securing Compensation for Automobile Accidents) With CALI, vehicle owners fulfill the minimum responsibility to compensate for traffic accident victims. If you don’t carry it when driving, you will be imposed a penalty of one year of imprisonment or fine of under ¥500,000.

Jibaiseki's price

CALI's price in Japan (Unit: JPY)

Kinds of vehicle Contract period (month)
37  36 25 24 13 12
Regular passenger vehicle 36,780 35,950 26,680 25,830 16,380 15,520
Small motor truck - - 30,460 29,470 18,360 17,350
"Kei" passenger vehicle which is for "Shaken" 35,610 34,820 25,880 25,070 15,960 15,130
Regular truck of which maximum carring capacity is over 2t - - 53,890 51,990 30,660 28,720
Regular truck of which maximum carring capacity is under 2t - - 44,100 42,580 25,520 23,970
Motorcycle with over 250cc 14,950 14,690 11,780 11,520 8,560 8,290
Motorcycle with 125-250cc - 15,720 - 12,220 - 8,650
Motorized bycycle with under 125cc - 2,340 - 9,950 - 7,500

*The price is slightly different in Okinawa pref.

Also see where to buy Jibaseki.

Jibaiseki's coverage

CALI's coverage

Jibaiseki (CALI) was established for the relief of traffic accident victims. It only compensates for injured or dead victims. It doesn't cover the at-fault party's physical damages. Besides it never covers property damages.

The following table shows two occasions CALI is paid. It also shows the upper limit of its payout.

CaseThe upper limit of CALI's payout
(1) A victim got injured. Maximum JPY1,200,000
(2) A victim was dead.Maximum JPY30,000,000
(3) A victim was left with residual disability.Maximum JPY40,000,000

Note these are not the amount that will be paid to a victim for sure, but the amount bases on your actual damages and losses. For more detail, see the articles below.

CALI doesn't only compensate for injured or dead victims, but also compensates for victims left with residual disability in a traffic accident. The upper limit of payment for residual disability is JPY40,000,000.

The insurance money for residual disability bases on CALI's original payout table showing the grade of residual disability and each insurance money.  If CALI admits your disability falls into 3rd grade, the total amount of ¥22,190,000 will be paid to you for sure.  See Tables of CALI's compensation for residual disability.

Since CALI's coverage is minimum, it's not sufficient for covering all the losses of victims in most cases. For example, if you're hospitalized due to the injury for a month, CALI's payout of JPY1,200,000 is sometimes not sufficient even for the medical expenses. So more than 74% of drivers additionally purchase voluntary insurance to fulfill the responsibility to compensate for the victim's damages.

For hit-and-run accident victims or victims hit by a non-insured car

CALI is mandatory for every vehicle owner, however, what if you are hit by a car that doesn't carry CALI? For relieving such victims, the Japanese government has a special plan called "Government Compensation Plan". It's for victims of a hit-and-run accident or victims hit by a non-insured car.  It offers the same amount of compensation as CALI. You can apply for the payout from the plan via third party organizations like insurance companies, just like applying for the payout of CALI.