AIG and Allianz both impacted by the decree from the insurance regulator

Ecuador’s Superintendent of Banking and Insurance, Gloria Sabando, decreed that 17 insurance companies operating in the country should pay back $19.4m in premium to their customers.

The payment, affecting companies that operate in the country’s mandatory motor coverage market, represents a 30% credit against “excessive” premiums charged in 2009, according to law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge (EAPD).

The announcement impacted the following companies: AIG, Allianz, Bolivar, Cervantes, Colonial, Constitucion, Coopseguros, Interoceanica, Latina, Olympus, Oriente, Panamericana, Rocafuerte, Sucre, Sweaden, Unidos y Vaz Seguros.

Insurers have little ability to challenge the pronouncement and have already begun making arrangements to comply with the reimbursement requirement, said EAPD.

Several insurers publicly criticised the concept of basing such a decision upon accident results for a single year, and have questioned the political motives underlying the decree, according to the law firm.