Thursday, April 06, 2006

Insuring Freedom in Iraq

Some interesting insurance news came across my desk last night in the form of the "Connected Enterprise" newsletter from Insurance & Technology magazine. This month's Message from the Editor highlighted a new insurance offering that has been made available in the newly liberated Iraq:

An extreme (and somewhat depressing) example of responsive product development was provided last month in The New York Times, which reported about a new terrorism insurance policy being sold by the Iraq Insurance Company. It includes a one-page rider specifying coverage for "the following dangers: 1) explosions caused by weapons of war and car bombs; 2) assassinations; 3) terrorist attacks." That guarantee, according to the article, "appears to be the first off-the-shelf terrorism policy in the world."

The state-owned Iraq Insurance Company began selling terrorism insurance about one year ago and so far has sold about 200 individual terrorism policies. The executive who came up with the idea for the product, Abbas Shaheed al-Taiee, told The Times, "We have expanded the principles of life insurance to cover everything that happens in Iraq." Although the payout is the same, the price for the coverage is negotiated once a client agrees to buy a policy — less for "safer" professions such as teaching than for riskier jobs such as police.
An interesting new illustration of how freedom and capitalism are slowly moving forward in the formerly violently repressed country.

UPDATE: I found the original referenced article from the New York Times. (Paid subscription required to view the entire article.)


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