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EghtesadOnline: Iranian insurance companies have registered an 18% growth in life insurance premium incomes in the first quarter of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 21), the head of Central Insurance of Iran company announced.

“The demand for purchasing life insurance policies has increased [in recent months], which is the result of insurers’ efforts to raise public awareness about the advantages of the key category,” Abdolnasser Hemmati also told a press conference on Monday, SHADA reported.

CII, as the regulator of Iran's insurance industry, has been working on implementing structural changes in insurers’ reserves. It has required insurers to split life and non-life reserves to enhance the efficiency of their investments and prevent possible losses in future.

“All insurers managed to separate life insurance reserves from other categories in their annual statements (March 2016-17),” Risknews also quoted Hemmati as saying.

“We are currently working on specific regulations for insurers’ investments from life insurance reserves,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.

The body had also announced that it will issue no new license for general firms, in an attempt to promote specialized insurance services. It also welcomed the establishment of spinoff life insurance firms.

“So far, three insurance companies have applied for launching life insurance spinoff firms,” Hemmati said, noting that the rulebook is being developed for defining the mechanism of launching spinoff firms.

In February, Middle East Life Insurance Company, affiliated with Middle East Bank, started operation as the first specialized Iranian insurance company.

Saman Insurance also signed a contract with Munich Re, the leading global reinsurance company, for transferring risks in life insurance category to the German firm.

The contract was the first of its kind since the lifting of western sanctions in January 2016.

Life Insurance Data

“The total amount of life insurance premiums has increased by 40% since March 2016 … The share of life insurance incomes in insurers' portfolio is expected to reach 15% by the end of the current Iranian year (March 2018),” Hemmati said.

The official provided no further details about insurers’ performance in the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

The CII database (also known as Sanhab) has not been updated since March 21.

However, figures related to insurers in the previous Iranian fiscal year (March 2016-17) indicate a 36.6% growth in life insurance premiums, compared with the year before.

Insurers sold 2.97 million life insurance policies during the period, earning 37.1 trillion rials ($971 million). Life insurance accounted for 13.4% of the industry's portfolio by March 2017.

Last year, insurers paid 2.97 trillion rials ($77 million) in life insurance claims, 7.6% higher than the year before.

Pasargad Insurance, affiliated with Bank Pasargad Iran, accounted for the largest portion of life insurance premium incomes in the period, 14.7%. It was followed by Karafarin Insurance with 11.5% and Iran Moein Insurance with 10.8%.


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