Iraq Insurance Industry Looks to Secure its Future

Without a change in the law, Iraq’s insurance industry is at risk of standing still”,  says CEO of AAIB Insurance Brokers.

AAIB Insurance Brokers, Iraq’s leading international insurance broker, together with Marsh, the world’s largest insurance broker, hosted an Insurance Conference in Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, on 27 April. The event brought together over 40 members of Iraq’s insurance industry, including the regulatory body, the Iraq Insurance Diwan, which is based in Baghdad. Representatives from the regional and international markets were also present to provide their insights into the growing interest in the Iraq market.

The event proved to be an important forum to highlight the challenges and obstacles the Iraq insurance industry faces. Intense discussions took place on how the local market can develop to take greater advantage of the huge investment projects taking place in Iraq in key sectors, such as oil and gas, and secure a bright future for the industry.

William Wakeham, Chief Executive Officer of AAIB, said:

I am delighted by how many insurance professionals from across Iraq have been able to join us today. AAIB has been operating here in Iraq for over six years and we have a very established relationship with the local market. This event, which is now in its third year, provides a rare opportunity for us to come together to share knowledge and expertise. Together with Marsh, we are here to listen to the requirements of the local market. We want to help and support our Iraqi colleagues where we can and hope that after today we will work even more closely.

He continued:

Overwhelmingly, the message that has come out of today’s conference is the need for an enhanced regulatory environment for Iraq’s insurance industry. There is currently no requirement for insured risks to be placed locally within the Iraq market, which has meant that the Iraqi insurance market has not fully benefited from the significant premiums generated by the oil and gas industry and the Rebuild Iraq effort. Whilst Iraq’s insurance industry is extremely resilient, without a change in the law, so that local placement of insured risks is mandatory, Iraq’s insurance industry is at risk of standing still.

Simon Boxall, Managing Director, Marsh Energy Practice, UK, said:

Today has been extremely useful and interesting from a Marsh perspective. Not only have we been able to reinforce our exclusive relationship with AAIB on insurance and risk management for companies in the oil, gas, energy and aviation sectors operating in Iraq. I have also been able to convey the needs of my clients to the local market. In my opinion, clients like to see clear and unambiguous regulation in place, as this helps ensure compliance. Our relationship with AAIB helps us to monitor regulation and related compliance issues so that we are able to provide informed advice to our clients. We also believe that a clearer regulatory environment will create a more competitive and healthier insurance industry – this will certainly be of benefit to our clients.

Mr Mirza M. Murad Khan, Managing Director of Dar AL-Salam Insurance Company, in Baghdad said:

It has been a privilege to be here today. I, together with my colleagues, appreciate the relationship we have with AAIB and now with Marsh. It has been an extremely productive day. We have learned a lot and are very positive that, with support from AAIB and Marsh, the Iraq insurance industry will gain more and more exposure to the international market.

As well as discussing best practice, AAIB’s specialist brokers also provided delegates with an overview of the specific Iraq insurance products it has developed using their deep knowledge and understanding of Iraq, including the AAIB Local Iraqi Health Plan, AAIB’s Inbound and Outbound Travel Insurance and its highly competitive cargo and construction insurance facilities.

To read more about AAIB and Marsh in Iraq visit www.aaib-insurance.com/marsh

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