"Earthquake is our reality, insurance is a must for a safe tomorrow"

Uğur Gülen, President of the Insurance Association of Turkey (TSB), the umbrella organisation of the insurance and pension sector, made statements on 1-7 March 2024 Earthquake Week.

Uğur Gülen, President of the Insurance Association of Turkey (TSB), the umbrella organisation of the insurance and pension sector, made statements on 1-7 March 2024 Earthquake Week.

Underlining that the insurance sector has the power to do much more in possible disasters, TSB President stated that much more successful results can be achieved by increasing the number of insured. President Gülen also conveyed his get well soon message due to the recent earthquake centred in Çanakkale.

Uğur Gülen continued his speech as follows: "The share allocated from the state budget for the earthquakes in Kahramanmaraş is 105 billion dollars. Our sector has assumed a share of USD 5 billion of this amount. If our insurance awareness and insured assets were higher, we, as the sector, could take this burden off our state, which would return to our citizens as more investment, employment and opportunities. One of the most distressing issues for us is that insurance behaviour emerges after the 'risk occurs' and cannot be sustained afterwards. With the 6 February earthquakes, there was a very rapid increase in the demand for insurance, but this situation faded after 2 months and remained even below the same period of the previous year. We should never forget that Turkey is an earthquake country and also faces new disaster risks like many other countries of the world due to the climate crisis."

Reminding that not only the disaster area but also the whole of Turkey faced the reality of earthquakes once again after the earthquakes of 6 February, the President of TSB emphasised that we should hold tightly to the understanding of "Insurance is appreciation" and said, "We should avoid remembering the earthquake when it happens and forgetting it when time passes, and pretending that it does not exist. We cannot replace the lives lost in earthquakes, but we can secure our health and our assets, which we own with a thousand labours, with insurance by raising social awareness in order to reduce earthquake damage."

Stating that as a result of the researches, the damage foreseen for the possible Marmara earthquake is expected to be a little over 100 billion dollars, Gülen reminded that only about 10 per cent of this is insured. Stating that the sector touched the lives of '260 thousand people per day' in 2023 alone with the indemnities paid and assumed by the sector and returned an amount of 1.2 billion TL per day to the economy, TSB President said, "It is possible for us to achieve much better results and protect the future of our country and our citizens by increasing awareness and accordingly insurance rates."

Stating that the employees of the Insurance Association of Turkey received training on what to do during an earthquake, President Gülen said: "Our sector went through a very difficult test after the Kahramanmaraş earthquakes. However, thanks to the quick decisions and actions we took together with all our stakeholders, we were able to overcome this process. We attach great importance to our employees being ready for a possible earthquake or disaster in all aspects. These trainings are of critical value for the health of our employees and their families, and then for the services we provide."

In 2023, following the Kahramanmaraş earthquakes, which caused great suffering to our country and was called the disaster of the century, insurance companies provided TL 13.3 billion in cash aid, containers worth TL 5.6 million, 92 trucks, 9 ambulances, relief supplies worth TL 10.4 million, hygiene materials worth TL 5.4 million, 400 thousand pieces of clothing, 4 field kitchens, 300 thousand food aid, and 4-year scholarships for 100 university students in partnership with TEV. The insurance sector continues its support uninterruptedly in order for the region to return to its former days after the disaster of the century, which we have left behind for the 1st year.

07 Mar 2024 - 14:01 - English

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