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EghtesadOnline: Iran Insurance Company, the largest and only firm owned by the government, has eight major projects in the pipeline to raise transparency of its operations cut losses.

"We have developed special projects to address IIC's  challenges, including a comprehensive underwriting system, alert system, an advanced fraud detection platform and a unique insurance services gateway," Majid Bakhtiari, the company's CEO, was quoted as saying by Shada, the Economy Ministry’s news agency. 

According to Bakhtiari, the projects should help improve the transparency in the IIC's financial activities, mainly by digitizing procedures and reducing the company's reliance on bank deposits.

"Platforms are being created to automate the entire process of underwriting insurance policies, including agents' affairs, selling policies, loss assessment and payout settlement," he said. 

A mechanism for enhancing IIC's returns on its assets and future investments is being crafted by the insurer. "Our ultimate goal is to get rid of losses and start making profit for the government, as our sole shareholder."

The IIC has made no profit for years. It published its financial statement recently on the Codal platform that shows the company accumulated 70 trillion rials ($232 million) in retained losses, which is expected to double in in near future. 

The new plan also calls for advanced training human resources and raising 100 professional executives to fill senior managerial positions.

The giant insurer has the largest sales network with 12,242 active agents and 212 branches. 

IIC wants to also boost income from its life insurance segment, mainly by offering less expensive packages. "Life insurance premium income is a sustainable source of income for insurance companies which can be used for financing businesses," he said.

Bakhtiari said the IIC is working on a "complementary retirement plan." He did not elaborate. 

The IIC still generates the most premium income despite efforts to increase and expand private firms. Data published by the Central Insurance company of Iran, the market regulator, show the IIC accounted for 32.46% of industry's premium income in the first seven months of the current fiscal year that started in March. 

It generated 195.4 trillion rials ($693 million), 33.6% higher than in the corresponding period last year. It sold 15.59 million insurance policies, or 40% of the total during the seven months and accounted for 28.5% of total payout.

Private insurers, however, are not on the same page. The monopoly of the state giant is often criticized by other companies. IIC’s policy in offering discounts on premium and claims is often seen as unhelpful, unfair and against free competition.