Here is everything you need to know about Turkey's earthquake insurance policy, DASK, its coverage limit, and pricing.

What Is Earthquake Insurance?

DASK, or the insurance provided by the Natural Disaster Insurance Institution (DASK), is a policy that the World Bank and Turkish government created following the deadly earthquakes in the Marmara region in 1999. It is provided by the Turkish Catastrophe Insurance Pool (TCIP).

Most often referred to as Compulsory Earthquake Insurance (Zorunlu Deprem Sigortası), DASK covers material damages to your building or dwelling caused by earthquakes and natural disasters arising from the earthquake, such as explosions, landslides, and tsunamis. It protects your losses within the limits defined in the policy and pays them as cash.

What Does DASK Cover?

Whether your dwelling has been damaged partially or entirely, DASK will cover damage to the following building parts:

  • Foundations
  • Main walls
  • Common walls separating independent sections
  • Garden walls
  • Retaining walls
  • Ceiling and floors
  • Stairs
  • Elevators
  • Landings
  • Corridors
  • Roofs
  • Chimneys
  • Supplementary areas of the building have similar qualities to those mentioned above.

The following, however, is not covered:

  • Debris removal costs
  • Loss of profit
  • Business interruption
  • Loss of rent
  • Alternative residence and workplace expenses
  • Financial liabilities and all other indirect damages that may claim otherwise
  • All kinds of movable properties, goods, and such
  • All bodily injuries and death
  • Non-material damages
  • Damages other than fire, explosion, tsunami, or landslide caused by earthquakes
  • Irrespective of the quake, cracks that have occurred over time due to the building's defective structure

In addition, certain types of property, such as buildings used for commercial purposes, i.e., office blocks, those constructed against building codes, and those that are still under construction and not yet complete, may not be covered by DASK insurance.

Do I Need DASK?

Yes, it is compulsory in Turkey.

DASK policies are renewed annually, and the Turkish government mandates that everyone has an up-to-date approach. Although, as a homeowner, you may not be asked regularly to provide proof that you have one, you will have to take out DASK insurance when you want to sell your property and put the water or electricity in your name.

To read more about it, head here.

Does Home Insurance Cover DASK?

As DASK is compulsory, you cannot only have home or property insurance. While there are insurance policies for your home that can cover costs related to damages caused by earthquakes and other natural disasters, you still have first to take out DASK before anything else.

In instances where DASK is not enough to cover the direct losses caused to your property, home insurance or home contents insurance will kick in. You must get additional insurance if you want the valuable belongings in your house insured in the case of an earthquake.

As with all types of insurance, do your due diligence and shop around to get the best deal. And if you already have home insurance, evaluate your limits, deductibles, and exemptions to ensure that your property is adequately protected in the event of a disaster.

DASK Deductibles

DASK has a maximum coverage limit each year, and this figure for 2021 is TL 268,000 for all building types as of January. The insurance indemnity limit considers the rebuilding cost of the dwelling, which will be dependent on the size of the property, its location, and construction type. However, this limit does not include the value of the land.

If the value of your property surpasses the maximum sum, you can obtain additional cover for the rest of the amount through a homeowners insurance policy. It would be best to make sure that the policy clearly states that it will cover costs above the DASK insurance limit for that given year.

The TCIP applies a minimum 2% deductible to the sum insured, compared to 10-15% internationally. To avoid minor claims and reduce administrative costs, such a low insurance deductible makes it more attractive for homeowners.

The TCIP policy is a "first-loss" contract, and losses occurring within 72 hours are attributed to a single event. The TCIP will be responsible for the remaining amount of the loss that exceeds the exemption amount and is calculated using this formula.

How Much Is DASK?

DASK premiums are annually calculated according to the building type of the property, its gross floor area, year of construction, number of floors, and its earthquake risk group, which will change according to the neighborhood and city it is located in. The TCIP ensures that DASK premiums are kept at a level that all citizens can afford.

Dear Insured, As of 01.01.2024, DASK policy coverage amounts have doubled, and inflation protection has been introduced. We noticed your policy remains at low prices without any update. To ensure you're fully protected in case of an earthquake, contact your agency today to have your tariff change addendum made. Thank you.

DASK has 15 different tariff rates that are determined according to 5 risk zones and 3 different construction styles (steel/concrete, stone masonry, and other buildings) as per "Turkey's Earthquake Regions Map."

Your DASK insurance premium will cost more if you live in Istanbul, which is considered a higher risk. On average, it will range anywhere from TL 40 to TL 250.

To calculate your DASK insurance premium, visit here.

DASK policyholders who renew their insurance every year within 30 days of the end date also benefit from a 10% renewal discount. Discounts or surcharges are applied according to the construction date of your property and the number of floors.

Is DASK Worth It?

It is, but it may not be enough.

The most important thing you should know about DASK is that it only covers your property's rebuilding or repair costs due to an earthquake, and it has limits.

So, that means that anything you have inside the house, whether your appliances, electronics, or furniture, will not be covered by DASK. Hence, we would recommend you take out comprehensive house insurance to replace the contents of your home damaged by an earthquake or other natural disasters.

In such cases, having an additional and complementary home insurance policy will ensure that these types of losses are covered regardless of DASK insurance.

At Ikamet Sigorta, we can help you find the best home insurance plans that suit your property. We can also arrange your DASK insurance on your behalf.