Allianz Suspends Iran Business, Hannover Re Honors Sanctions

Allianz SE, Europe's largest primary insurer by gross premiums, said Friday it is suspending business in Iran amid calls for tighter sanctions against the country after the International Atomic Energy Agency censured Tehran for its nuclear enrichment program.

Source: Source: WSJ | Published on February 23, 2010

"Allianz has decided not to renew insurance treaty business in Iran because of political developments in the region. This business amounts to negligible premiums," Allianz said in a statement, without being more specific.

German reinsurer Hannover Re AG said separately that it conducts a small amount of business in Iran and will only continue to do so if it complies strictly with United Nations and European Union sanctions

The company said it "conducts treaty business (proportional and non proportional) and a small amount of facultative business in the Republic of Iran," without giving figures.

On Thursday, Munich Re AG, one of the world's largest reinsurers, said it was suspending its business dealings with Iranian companies.

"Due to the political situation in Iran, Munich Re has decided to not renew existing business or write any new business with insurance companies there. This decision will have an impact on Munich Re's premium volume of around EUR10 million," annually, the company said in a statement. Its total annual premium volume is around EUR41 billion.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran's nuclear enrichment program could be used for nuclear weapons.

On Thursday, the German Insurance Association, GDV, said German insurers "support the tightening of economic sanctions against Iran."

The GDV said "it is closely following the intensifying international debate on tightening economic sanctions against Iran and calls on the European Union to ensure that companies don't face conflicting sanction requirements."

U.S. Congress passed legislation that would sanction Iran and the companies that do business with it. The legislation, which still has to go through a few more process hurdles, particularly targets the country's gasoline imports and insurance companies that underwrite shipments.

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