Annual premium income in Iran insurance sector to exceed $5.2bn till March

Press TV – Head of Iran’s regulatory body for the insurance sector says total premiums collected by insurers in the country would exceed 5.2 billion until late March 2019, when the current Iranian calendar year ends.

Gholamreza Soleimani, who serves as the chief executive of the Central Insurance of Iran, said on Wednesday that premiums collected between April and September topped 265 trillion rials (2.3 billion), adding that the industry eyes to meet a target of 600 trillion rials ($5.217 billion) of premium income until the end of the current Iranian year.

Soleimani said Iran’s insurance industry was lagging behind in terms of meeting the objectives of a national economic development plan, which will conclude by 2021, saying the value of the premiums should have grown to reach seven percent of Iran’s gross domestic product which is nearly $500 billion.

He said a main obstacle to boost Iran’s insurance penetration rate, which is currently around 1 percent, was the low progress recorded in the life insurance industry, where he said people were becoming less interested to own a policy.

“Life insurance is 14.4 percent of the insurance industry’s portfolio in our country while the rate is around 58 percent in developed countries,” said Soleimani while addressing an insurance conference in Tehran.

He said reports suggesting that the government is planning to impose value added tax on life insurance products would mean an even lower public interest for such schemes.

He said the new tax would mean a “death for life insurance” in Iran as many people would chose banks to deposit their money instead of purchasing a form of life insurance.