35 pct of Elazığ houses covered by insurance scheme: Official

35 pct of Elazığ houses covered by insurance scheme: Official

35 pct of Elazığ houses covered by insurance scheme: Official

The powerful earthquake that struck eastern Turkey last week can generate losses for insurers, as some 35 percent of houses in the quake-hit Elazığ had been insured, an official has said.

Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency, Mete Güler, the chairman of Turkish Catastrophe Insurance Pool (DASK), said that 43,000 residential houses out of 123,000 in Elazığ are currently insured.

“[The insured] amount is some 35 percent of overall residences. In [the eastern province of] Malatya, some 63,000 residences have been insured out of 165,000. The insurance rate is about 38 percent,” Güler said. He added that in all of eastern Turkey, the rate of insurance is about 40 percent.

A 6.8-magnitude quake shook Elazığ on Jan. 24, causing 37 deaths in Elazığ and four in neighboring Malatya. According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), some 1,607 were injured and 45 were pulled from the rubble.

Güler said that officials have received some 7,500 notices by quake victims in almost a week yet works for damage assessment have not been concluded.

Underlining that DASK has the capacity to pay some 24 billion Turkish Liras (over $4 billion) in claim payments, the chairman said that the maximum amount of security deposit that can be paid is 240,000 Turkish Liras (nearly $42,000) for all residences.

“After assessing the damages, we will determine the compensation amounts and will make the payments as soon as possible,” Güler said.

“We have made out preparations and will be with our citizens as soon as possible without victimizing them,” he added.

67 pct of Istanbul insured

As for Istanbul, another quake-prone city whose dense population is wary of an expected earthquake, some 67 percent of the residences is insured, Güler said.

Underlining that 33 percent of Istanbul is still not insured, Güler also said that the number of insurance policies in the metropolis reaches almost 2.5 million.

“This is a good rate and we want it to increase,” he said.

For the overall rates in all of Turkey, the chairman said that 9.5 million residences out of 17.6 million are currently insured in the country, with a rate of 54 percent.

Güler also said that DASK, which was established after the 1999 Marmara earthquake - the worst seismic disaster of the country - paid some 205 million Turkish Liras for 30,000 damage cases.

Some 135 million liras out of the said amount were given for damaged buildings in the 2011 Van earthquake, he added.