4 European insurers to open branches in Iran: official

Tehran, Iran, June 1

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The head of Central Insurance Company of Iran said insurance companies from four European countries have offered to launch offices in Tehran and provide services in the country.

"Four European insurance companies are willing to establish branches in Iran in a bid to enhance their cooperation with their Iranian counterparts," Abdolnaser Hemmati said on June 1, ILNA news agency reported.

He added that another European firm is also expected to launch its office in the country.

Following the removal of sanctions against Iran in January 2016, indications appeared to show that global insurers were looking into the prospects of entering the market whose worth is estimated to be around $7.4 billion in premiums.

However, it seems that the pace is now decreasing following US President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers, Hemmati said.

Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from the nuclear agreement, which was reached between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, Britain, France, Russia and China - plus Germany.

Trump also said he would reinstate US nuclear sanctions on Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.

European giants including Allianz, Zurich Insurance, Hannover Re and RSA were the first to announce that they would evaluate potential opportunities in the country, specifically in its marine, aviation, power generation and energy sectors.

German insurer Allianz on May 15 announced it was preparing to wind down Iran-related business due to possible US sanctions.

“We are analyzing our portfolio to identify Iran-related business,” Allianz said in an emailed statement.

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