Indian shipping companies have said they will continue to carry Iranian crude oil despite sanctions that will leave them with potential risk exposure due to limited insurance coverage.
Reuters reported Tuesday that as of July, tighter sanctions from the European Union intended to halt the transport of Iranian oil to Europe will also prevent E.U. insurers and reinsurers from providing coverage to tankers that move the crude anywhere in the world.
Since approximately 90% of such insurance is based in the West, that means greater exposure to risk even for companies that ship Iranian crude to buyers in Asia: China, India, Japan and South Korea. The sanctions are aimed at discouraging Iran from pursuing its nuclear program, which it says is peaceful but which the West believes is designed to produce weapons.
In response, Indian shipping companies have asked state insurers to at least partially fill the gap left by Western companies. Shipping Corp. of India, Great Eastern and additional firms have sought coverage up to $50 million in third-party liability coverage per tanker voyage, even though that falls considerably short of usual coverage for such trips.