By Padraig O’Hannelly.
With increasing commercial activity in Iraq, much of it by foreign-based investors, there’s a growing market for adequate insurance to cover the risks. But in a country emerging from years of chaos, how can you be sure that the insurance you buy is legal and valid?
To help clarify this point, Iraq Business News spoke with Ms Shirook Adnan, the head of the country’s insurance regulator, the Iraqi Insurance Diwan (IID).
“The law states that an organisation may not carry on a regulated insurance activity in Iraq unless it is authorised by the IID”, she explained. “An insurance broker, for example, must apply to the Ministry of Trade for a licence to set up a business, and the Ministry will not grant this licence without approval from the IID.”
“This also applies to foreign businesses. Our law doesn’t allow for a foreign insurance company or broker to work in Iraq; they must first establish and register a branch within the country.”
The regulator went on to explain that “any insurer not complying with these requirements would be liable to severe financial penalties, and any policy taken out with a broker who is not properly licensed within Iraq would not be valid under Iraqi insurance law”.