Navigators Insurer Penalized by U.S. for North Korea, Iran Deals

Navigators Group Inc., the insurer that focuses on marine risks, agreed to settle a U.S. probe that it violated sanctions through deals tied to banned nations.

Navigators will pay about $272,000 to resolve the liability for 48 suspected violations, according to a document distributed Friday by the U.S. Treasury Department. Those violations included policies on North Korean-flagged vessels and coverage of incidents that involved or occurred in Iran, Sudan and Cuba from May 2008 until early 2011, according to the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“Navigators managers and supervisors knew or had reason to know that the majority of the insurance policies and claims payments at issue involved OFAC-sanctioned countries,” the department said in the document. “Navigators did not have a formal OFAC compliance program in place at the time the apparent violations occurred.”

U.S. regulators are cracking down on companies with ties to nations designated as state sponsors of terrorism, including Iran. Chubb Corp. distanced itself last year from insurance adjusters in Sudan and Syria after a government inquiry, classifying the people as “surveyors” rather than “representatives” of the company.

Navigators self-reported the issues to regulators, Emily Miner, general counsel for the insurer, said in a phone interview Friday. Since then, the company implemented a comprehensive compliance program, she said.

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