Global ship insurers to resume near full coverage for Iran oil: officials

Reuters– Global shipping insurers have devised a way to ensure nearly full coverage for Iranian oil exports from next month after striking a deal to provide cover without involving U.S.-domiciled reinsurers, officials in Tokyo and London said.

The reluctance of U.S. firms to handle Iranian goods had greatly limited the number of reinsurers of cargoes, but the new arrangements – which essentially allow re-insurance of ships without the involvement of U.S.-firms – should boost the number of eligible shipments.

That will provide a boon to Iran, trying to raise oil exports after most sanctions were lifted last year, though banking restrictions that remain in place that could cap any major rise in exports.

“There will be no U.S.-domiciled reinsurer participation on the 2017 IG reinsurance program,” Andrew Bardot, secretary and executive officer at the International Group (IG) of P&I Clubs in London told Reuters on Tuesday.

The new arrangements take effect on Feb. 20, he and other officials said.

“This will substantially address the potential shortfall in reinsurance recoveries in the event of Iranian-related claims,” Bardot said in an email.

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori in TOKYO and Keith Wallis in SINGAPORE; Additional reporting by Jonathan Saul in LONDON; Writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)