Understanding Turkey’s New Compulsory Earthquake Insurance (ZAS)
“Compulsory Earthquake Insurance” ZAS is a type of insurance in Turkey that covers damages to buildings caused by earthquakes. The purpose of this insurance is to provide financial protection to property owners against the effects of earthquakes.
ZAS was introduced as a replacement for the “Turkish Catastrophe Insurance Pool” (DASK), which provided similar earthquake coverage. DASK was a state-owned institution that provided compulsory earthquake insurance for residential buildings in high-risk areas. It was funded through premiums paid by property owners.
Key Features of ZAS
The Compulsory Earthquake Insurance, Zorunlu Afet Sigortası (ZAS), makes it mandatory for all property owners to have earthquake insurance coverage. Here are some key features of the ZAS policy:
- Mandatory Coverage: ZAS mandates that all property owners must have earthquake insurance, covering both residential and commercial properties. This ensures that a wide range of properties are protected against earthquake-related damages.
- Scope of Coverage: The insurance covers damages caused by earthquakes, including structural damage to buildings, as well as damage to personal belongings within the insured property.
- Premium Determination: The premium rates for ZAS are determined based on factors such as the location, age, and value of the property. Properties located in higher-risk seismic zones may have higher premiums.
- Government Involvement: ZAS is administered by the government through authorized insurance companies. This ensures a standardized approach to coverage and premium calculations, avoiding exploitation by private insurers.
- Affordability: The government’s involvement helps maintain affordability and accessibility, making earthquake insurance accessible to a broader range of property owners.
Benefits of ZAS
The introduction of Compulsory Earthquake Insurance brings several benefits to property owners and the nation as a whole:
- Financial Protection: ZAS offers financial security to property owners in the event of an earthquake, alleviating the burden of repair and reconstruction costs.
- Community Resilience: By ensuring that property owners have adequate insurance, ZAS contributes to the overall resilience of communities, helping them recover faster from earthquakes.
- Reduced Government Burden: With homeowners having earthquake insurance, the government’s burden in providing immediate relief and assistance after a disaster is reduced, allowing resources to be allocated more efficiently.
- Stimulating Construction Standards: ZAS encourages property owners to invest in earthquake-resistant construction practices, ultimately leading to safer buildings and infrastructure.
Turkey’s Compulsory Earthquake Insurance ZAS marks a significant step toward enhancing the financial preparedness of homeowners in a region prone to seismic activity. By making earthquake insurance mandatory, the government aims to protect citizens from the economic fallout of potential earthquakes. While also promoting safer construction practices. ZAS stands as a commendable initiative that not only safeguards individuals and communities but also fosters a more resilient and disaster-ready nation. ZAS will come into effect in 2024.