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New Law May Have a Big Effect on Reinsurance Companies

Back in January, President Obama signed an expanded sanctions law that bans any financial firm (including reinsurers) from providing services to companies that trade with Iran. The new law just went into effect and it applies to any foreign company doing business in the United States. Why was this law put into place? Obama is hoping it will cripple Iran's energy, marine shipping and shipbuilding sectors, which contribute to the country's nuclear activities. This means that if any reinsurers break the new law, they could be in big trouble. And, hopefully, your insurance company isn't tangled up with any law-breaking reinsurance companies.

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, has been digging deep over the past year to see if any reinsurance companies have been dealing with Iran in some way. He found evidence of at least three non-U.S. firms insuring shipments to Iran. As a result, he recently wrote to 20 non-U.S. reinsurance companies requesting detailed information about their dealings and connections to Iran. Some of those companies are quite large, including Swiss Re AG, Hannover Re SE and Lloyd's of London. If it is found that any of these companies are indeed in violation, they will only get in trouble if the insurance policies extend beyond July 1, which is when the law went into place.

If any of these reinsurers get in trouble, there could be billions of dollars at stake. $400 billion of premiums last year were issued by non-U.S. reinsurance firms. Of that business, 40-60 percent came from the U.S., according to reinsurance broker Aon Benfield.

If you need help with a denied claim or want to find out how to dispute an insurance denial, contact The Voss Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation at 888-614-7730.

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