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No Hindrance to Insurance of Ships, Oil Tankers

Insurance sanctions for most oil tankers have been removed and risk coverage for the Persian Gulf Islands of Kish and Qeshm has been confirmed
 Protection and Indemnity (P&I) clubs have started to provide cover for Iran’s shipping fleet. Protection and Indemnity (P&I) clubs have started to provide cover for Iran’s shipping fleet.

Iranian ships and oil tankers are now free to be insured following the country's landmark nuclear deal with world powers, says the head of the Central Insurance company of Iran, the industry's regulator.

"It is being implemented and insurance coverage for ships and oil tankers has been approved," Abdolnasser Hemmati said in a talk with ILNA when asked about the effect of sanctions removal on the insurance of Iranian shipping fleet.

"Insurance sanctions for most oil tankers have been removed and risk coverage for the Persian Gulf Islands of Kish and Qeshm has been confirmed and they have managed to receive coverage from the International Protection and Indemnity (P&I) clubs.

Iran's deputy oil minister, Amir Hussein Zamaninia, had earlier said European insurers now have no problem insuring Iranian oil tankers, according to the Oil Ministry news agency SHANA.

Protection and Indemnity (P&I) clubs - marine insurers owned by shipping firms - have started to provide cover for Iran's shipping fleet, including its oil tankers.

The CII head emphasized that there exists no such thing as international sanctions on oil tankers. According to a statement published on the official website of the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), he adds, "all executives, companies and every ship in the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) have been removed from the sanctions list."

Considering that Iran Insurance Company–the sate-owned insurer– is at the forefront of the Iranian insurance market, the official was asked whether or not it has managed to partner with major foreign companies and take international projects.

"Yes, in important insurance categories such as fire insurance and a number of other forms of coverage pertaining to aircraft and energy, the IIC is a forerunner and a leader," he said. "But reinsurance coverage has yet to be completed and international reinsurance companies insist on incorporating issues in their deals that we cannot accept."

In mid August, it was announced by Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) that nine Iranian ships had received coverage from the Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association Limited of P&I Clubs – one of the largest and most diverse P&I Clubs in the world and a member of the International Group of P&I Clubs participating in the International Group Pool – since 31 July 2016.

Considering that Donald Trump is the US president-elect, Hemmati notes, there can be no precise prediction of the foreseeable future and the only thing that can be done is to wait and see what approach and path he will take.

On how he sees the future of the Iranian insurance industry, he said officials are interested in developing the insurance industry. "The JCPOA has also had its positive effects and the volume of insurance industry coverage is on the rise," he said referring to the nuclear deal with the world powers that led to the easing of international sanctions.

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