How importing camels help Iran insurers pay less compensation?
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 5
By Farhad Daneshvar – Trend:
Iranian insurers have reportedly imported a large amount of camels into the country to keep the prices of the ungulate low, a move aimed at tackling the growing rate of blood money in the country.
Under the Islamic code of Iran, the blood money for a Muslim man is calculated according to the price of 100 camels. Blood money in Islam is a type of financial compensation paid to the victim or heirs of a victim in the cases of murder, bodily harm or property damage. The rate of blood money may differ from time to time or on special occasions. Under the law of Iran, insurance firms are obliged to pay blood money to those who suffered such incidents despite their religion and gender.
Statistics by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration indicate that the country has imported a large number of camels from several counties including China, Turkey, Pakistan, the UAE, Afghanistan and the EU over the first halve of the current fiscal year (starting March 20). Iran imported at least $1.8 million of camels from several countries in the mentioned period. This is while the Middle Eastern country’s imports of camel from the UK alone valued at $41,960.
While the issue of imports of camel from countries such as the UK, Italy and Germany has caused questions as the Europe is not a habitat for camels, the number of camels in Iran has considerably dropped over the past years, leading to a hike in the rate of blood money in the country. According to the agriculture ministry of Iran, the number of camels in the country stands at 173,000.
The Iranian judiciary officials say that the rate of blood money in ordinary times in the country stands at 2.1 billion rials (about $59,500) but it reaches 2.8 billion rials (about $79,000) in the four Sacred Months of Islam in which fighting is prohibited.
This is while the insurance officials of the country have constantly criticized the high rate of blood money, warning about the financial implications of the hike in the blood money.
Judiciary officials responding to the criticisms earlier said that the rate of blood money would drop, if it was possible to purchase camels at a lower price.
It appears that the small supply of camels in the Iranian market has caused the higher price of the animal in the country’s domestic market. Over the past 40 years the number of camels in Iran has decreased to halve therefore its price has normally increased which eventually had a direct impact on the rate of the blood money.
Although a group of insurance officials have expressed interest in breeding camels in order to tackle the growing prices, the efforts in this regards have made no serious result, therefore the issue of importing camels has come on the agenda.
On the other hand, the insurers claim the rate of premiums has failed to increase in accordance with the rate of blood money which eventually damages the industry.
According to the latest statistics by Central Insurance of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the industry regulator, the traffic incidents claimed about 15,900 lives in the country over the last fiscal year. In the meantime, about 333,000 individuals were injured in the traffic accidents.
While the insurance industry issued worth of 10.329 trillion rials ($322.7 million) of insurance policies for driving incidents, it paid about $240 million in compensation for traffic accidents.