Munich Re, Allianz Halt Iran Business Activity

NU Online News Service, Feb.19, 1:00 p.m. EST

As the German government announced it favors more international sanctions against Iran, Munich Re said it would become the second German reinsurer to stop writing business there and will not renew existing coverage.

The company's statement follows yesterday's announcement by Allianz that it has stopped doing business in Iran.

Munich Re, which reported it had EUR41.4 billion ($56 billion) in gross premiums written, said in a statement its decision "will have an impact on Munich Re's premium volume of around EUR10 million ($13.5 million)," mainly from property reinsurance.

In announcing its action the company did not link its decision to any moves by the government, stating only that, "Due to the political situation in Iran, Munich Re has decided to not renew existing business or write any new business with insurance companies there."

Pressed for more detail, Munich Re spokesman Klaus Schmidtke referred to a press statement he made saying the company had been "looking at the situation for a long time; the political situation is worse now and we decided to stop business."

He noted that the company does not sell primary insurance in Iran and that the firm in October had halted reinsurance coverage for marine shipments of fuel in and out of Iran.

Sabia Schwarzer, a spokesperson for Allianz, said of her company, "We are not renewing any reinsurance treaties because of political developments in the region."

She said the political situation referred to "the sanctions that are being thought of for its [Iran's] nuclear ambitions."

In the United States, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has been pressuring companies to drop investments in firms with Iran links.

He said last week that in March he will take regulatory steps against insurers with investments in firms with Iranian connections that could lower their capital and surplus levels. That move could possibly hurt company financial-strength ratings.

Mr. Poizner said as of March 31, investments an insurer holds in any of 50 companies he has found doing business in the Iranian oil and natural gas, nuclear and defense sectors, can be recognized on the firm's financial statements in California.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said persistent defiance by Iran with regards to United Nations demands to curb its nuclear program merited considering further sanctions.

"Our hand is still stretched out ... but the continued defiance toward the IAEA, to UN resolutions and Iran's dangerous policies in general oblige the international community to take the path in New York toward further sanctions against the regime in Tehran," the spokesman said.


Resource Center

View All »

Contractors General Liability Coverage 102

What is a prior work exclusion? Which option is right for my client? Why do...

Sign up today to get a 50% matching credit -...

Insurance marketing sometimes seems like it's a game of swings and misses, but we're here...

Guide: 5 Steps to Selling Cyber

Cyber risk and data security is on the agenda of every business owner and executive....

Citation Correlation

Do rigger and signalperson qualifications correlate with the cause of crane and rigging accidents? ...

Complete Guide to Electronic Signatures in Property & Casualty Insurance...

In property and casualty insurance, closing new business quickly is key. Learn how to leverage...

INSTANT ACCESS: Complimentary Sales Closer Questionnaires

Help property owners or managers compare your commercial residential property insurance coverage vs. the competition....

Determining Vacant Property Perils and Valuations

Are your clients fully covered for Vacant Properties? In this economic climate, your insureds may...

Risk Management for Law Firms

This package of 3 concise risk management articles offers straightforward content and practical suggestions law...

Guide: Top 15 E&O Risks-And How To Avoid Them

Accidents happen. But when it's an errors and omissions oversight, that accident can open your...

We'll Show You How to Reach Your Sales Goals

Whether you work alone or have a team of agents working for you, we can...

PropertyCasualty360 Daily eNews

Get P&C insurance news to stay ahead of the competition in one concise format - FREE. Sign Up Now!

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.