Economy, Business And Markets

Top Insurer Vows to Set Things Right

Top Insurer Vows to Set Things Right Top Insurer Vows to Set Things Right

The Central Insurance company of Iran–the industry’s regulator– is working on a comprehensive program to overhaul the insurance industry which includes plans to reorganize the domestic market and help prepare insurance companies to enter and compete in foreign markets.

Elaborating on the vision, Abdolnasser Hemmati, CII president, said “Lack of diverse risk management instruments is a big problem for the industry, plus we should start to cover risks in overseas markets, which would boost the country’s non-oil exports,” quoted him as saying on Tuesday.

Hemmati, a former CEO of Bank Melli Iran, was appointed as CII chief last month after the company’s former boss resigned over a salary scandal involving top CII executives. Hemmati had worked as head of the CII from 1994-2006.  

Hemmati pointed to talks with foreign insurers following the lifting of the sanctions in January and said, “Many foreign insurance companies have held meetings with us, but we have our own plans.”

“First, we should enhance the domestic market,” he said, adding that the CII will continue to regulate the market and support insurance companies.

CII said last year that German reinsurer Munich RE has made a significant offer for covering a variety of insurance services in Iran after the lifting of sanctions.

Three major Japanese insurance companies, Tokio Marine, Sompo and Mitsui have offered risk coverage up to $200 million and Japanese insurers have plans to establish joint companies or buy shares of domestic companies, according to CII officials.

The French Nasco Insurance Group is also looking forward to strengthening ties with Iranian insurers, the firm’s president said last October.  

In an earlier meeting with insurance companies’ public relations officers   on Monday, Hemmati urged insurers to stop unhealthy competition among themselves, calling on them to improve their business and offer quality services to clients.”

He also noted that the CII is seeking to promote an “insurance culture” in the country–where insurance services remain largely unknown and unpopular – and asked insurers to share their ideas on the subject.

“To be able to gain public trust, insurance advertisements should focus on insurers indemnifying losses and the special services they offer,” he said.