N.Y. Said to Subpoena Four U.S. Insurers in Iran Probe

Chubb Corp. and CNA Financial Corp. are among insurers that were subpoenaed by New York’s financial-industry regulator as part of a probe into compliance with laws that prohibit companies from doing business with Iran, a person familiar with the investigation said.

Liberty Mutual Group Inc. and Navigators Group Inc. also received notices from the state’s Department of Financial Services, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be identified.

The department, led by Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, subpoenaed European carriers over the matter last year after learning that some firms issued coverage of trades made with Iran. At the time, DFS asked the companies for copies of compliance policies and to identify any instance in which they invoked a sanctions clause to refuse payment of a claim.

“We are in the process of complying with the subpoena,” said Mark Greenberg, a spokesman for Warren, New Jersey-based Chubb. “Our policies contain trade sanction exclusions that bar coverage for prohibited exposures under applicable sanctions laws.”

The subpoenas were reported earlier by the Wall Street Journal.

Compliance Program

“We have been cooperating with the department’s investigation,” Jennifer Martinez-Roth, a spokeswoman for CNA, said in an e-mail. “CNA has a very robust compliance program and we are confident that we followed the law.”

John Cusolito, a spokesman for Boston-based Liberty Mutual, and Navigators’ Taha Ebrahimi didn’t immediately respond to messages seeking comment left after normal business hours.

The four carriers may have insured deals related to Glencore Xstrata Plc and the Iranian metals trade between 2010 and 2013, according to the person. DFS hasn’t determined whether the companies violated the law, the person said.

Some non-U.S. affiliates of Glencore, the global commodity trader run by billionaire Ivan Glasenberg, are still doing business with Iran, according to documents filed last year with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by Century Aluminum Co., in which Glencore owns a stake.

“Glencore Xstrata does comply with applicable laws and regulations, including applicable sanctions,” Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore said last year in a statement. “We are closely monitoring all new legal developments to ensure that we continue to be in compliance.”

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