Azerbaijan, Baku, June 17 /Trend M. Moezzi/
The head of Iran's Bimeh Markazi, (Central Insurance of the Islamic Republic of Iran) said the country's insurers are ready to offer coverage to ships passing through Iranian waters.
When international insurance companies began refusing to insure ships carrying Iran's oil, domestic companies formed a consortium to fill that void, said Seyed Mohammad Karimi. Bimeh Markazi's President said the consortium is even ready to provide coverage for those ships and oil tankers that pass through Iran's waters without insurance.
The move to stop insuring tankers carrying Iran's oil is part of a sanctions drive against the country. Iran is in a standoff with the West over its nuclear programme. Iran contends its programme is civilian and peaceful while the U.S. and its allies insist it is military in nature. The U.S. has led sanctions against Iran's oil industry and its central bank.
The European Union will impose a full embargo on Iranian oil imports and insuring tankers which carry Iranian oil from July 1.
Around 90 percent of the world's tanker insurance is based in the West
Mr. Karimi made the comments during a news conference marking the 41st anniversary of Bimeh Markazi's formation, Mehr news agency reports.
There are 25 insurance companies in Iran today and all except one are privately owned. They issued 35 million policies last year (Iran's solar year ends on March 19). Last year also saw a 45 percent increase in manufacturing insurance from the year before. Health insurance policies grew 18 percent last year.
According to Karimi, of the 10 million motorcycles that operate on Iran's roads only 2 million are insured despite discounts and payment schedules.
The insurance rate for cars is much better. There are about 14 million vehicles in Iran and 90 percent of them are insured.
Copyright 2012 Trend News Agency. All Rights Reserved.
(Originally published June 17, 2012, in Trend Daily Economic News.)