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IASB issues big change in accounting for insurance contracts

Tammy Whitehouse | May 18, 2017

While U.S. companies will have to wait a little longer for a final standard on insurance contracts, the International Accounting Standards Board has issued its new rules, considered among the most significant changes ever made to international accounting requirements.

Within the body of International Financial Reporting Standards, IFRS 17 now requires all insurance contracts to be accounted for in a consistent way using current values instead of historic costs. It does away with IFRS 4, which was adopted as an interim standard in 2004 to tell companies they could account for insurance contracts following whatever national standards they’d been following up to that time.

“This standard would be very close to the most significant change every made at the IASB,” said IASB board member Darrel Scott. “The insurance industry is a very significant...

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