Business And Markets

Insurers Give $30m to Help Medical Centers

Insurers Give $30m to Help Medical Centers  Insurers Give $30m to Help Medical Centers

Insurance companies in Iran have provided nearly 4.5 trillion rials ($30 million) to medical centers affiliated to the Ministry of Health to help them overcome financial constraints amid the Coronavirus spread. 
Gholamreza Soleymani, head of Central Insurance company of Iran, said the money was paid as part of tax on insurers' earnings from the sale of third party vehicle insurance.
As per law, insurance companies must pay 10% of their revenue from third-party auto insurance policies - the category with the highest share in insurance companies' portfolio -- to the Health Ministry. 
Insurers have always been reluctant to pay this tax, but the situation seems to be rather different this time. 
"All insurance companies are ready to support the medical community across the country," Soleymani said, expressing his gratitude towards medical personnel for their efforts to contain the novel coronavirus epidemic.
Iran has confirmed more than 11,000 cases of people infected with the infectious disease, with 514 deaths by Friday noon.
The respiratory illness has spread to all 31 provinces of Iran, with northern and central provinces among the most-affected.


Online Measures

As the number of coronavirus cases and deaths rise, insurance regulators and companies have come up with new measures to help slowdown the spread of the virus. 
The Central Insurance company, the body in charge of regulating and supervising the market, requires companies to start selling the obligatory auto insurance policies online.  
As per a directive issued on Wednesday, insurance firms are required to provide policyholders the option to renew their compulsory vehicle coverage on insurance companies' websites. Otherwise insurance policies will be renewed automatically for two to three months. 
Iran Insurance Company, the largest and only state-owned company in Iran, has announced new measures to ease the purchase of auto insurance and increase the ceiling for payouts without loss assessment. The measures aim to reduce interaction between insurers and policyholders. 
The company has also launched a new section on its website that allows buyers to pay their premium in installments. Such measure should be a big help given the big slowdown in businesses and the stagnating economic due to the pandemic. 
Last month Iran Insurance Company and Saman Insurance Company extended life insurance policies to cover hospitalization and death due to infection from coronavirus.
Iran Insurance Company said life insurance policyholders will be eligible for the scheme without change in their earlier policy. Saman insurance said henceforth the cover includes hospital bills. Policyholders pay no extra charges to receive the added coverage.
The company has also extended its travel insurance policies to cover the deadly virus. The coverage includes hospital stay in foreign countries along with loss caused due to policyholders' early return back to the country. 
Sina Insurance, affiliated to Sina Bank, has also introduced a new coverage specifically for medical staff across the country, offering a 70% discount for purchasing auto and fire insurance.
One other company, Dey Insurance, has considered a 40-50% discount on auto and fire insurance policies for health workers and medical staff.

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