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Insurance Companies Pressed to End Investments in Iran

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty intends to urge insurance companies to drop their investments in Iran, and California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is making the...
December 9, 2009

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty intends to urge insurance companies to drop their investments in Iran, and California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is making the same move. Carriers in California have indirect investments in that country worth $12 billion. "I have consulted with other state insurance commissioners to evaluate the practicality of developing a national initiative similar to the undertaking by the California Department of Insurance," McCarty said.

McCarty is in talks with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) Securities Valuation Office and other state insurance commissioners about creating a national initiative to determine insurers' exposure to companies operating in Iran. Poizner has promised to use subpoenas, publicity and deadlines to force more than 1,300 insurers under his jurisdiction to divest Iranian investments. The companies that California insurers have invested in "do business with the Iranian energy, nuclear, banking and defense industries," Poizner says.

McCarty says his Office of Insurance Regulation monitors compliance with the ban on investments related to terrorists and terrorist-support organizations identified by the U.S. Treasury Department.  It is illegal for insurers to invest directly in companies with business operations in the defense, nuclear, petroleum or natural gas, or banking and financial services industries in Iran, McCarty says.

States Eye Iran Investments (National Underwriter 12/3/09)

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