Mugla leads the way with one of the highest take ups of the Government run insurance scheme in Turkey, but a big drop in policy purchases and renewals nationally has prompted a new publicity campaign.

DASK or The Turkish Catastrophe Insurance Pool (TCIP) was set up following the massive Marmara earthquake that occurred on 17th of August 1999. That quake resulted in the loss of thousands lives and millions of dollars in damaged public and private property.

Turkey realised after such a massive disaster that significant sums of money needed to be put side in future so that it could meet the costs of reconstruction without needing international help.

So, with the help of the World Bank, a nationwide insurance policy was implemented that would provide compensation for damages to dwellings caused by Earthquakes.

The scheme, now celebrating its tenth anniversary, had been growing steadily year on year. But this year it has seen a 28 percent reduction in the number of policies purchased compared to the bumper year of 2009 when policies rose by 20 percent. Now the take up of the scheme is back at the level seen in 2005.

Of Turkeys 13 million private properties only 25% have up to date annual TCIP policies. In some areas the percentage of properties with a valid policy is very low but, interestingly, Mugla tops the list with 45.62 percent of 155,696 properties holding a valid policy.

That high percentage could be down to the general awareness that Mugla, and in particular Fethiye and surrounding villages, are all in the highest risk of earthquake – category 1. But it could also be down to the high proportion of property owned by foreigners who are wealthier and culturally adjusted to the concept of insurance.

That aside the TCIP management are keen to rekindle property owners interest in the insurance fund and the protection it offers across Turkey and have embarked on an awareness campaign. This campaign includes television, radio, posters, newspaper adverts and discounts of 20 percent if policy holders renew their policies each year.

But the highlight of the campaign will be the tour of a roadshow to many of the towns and cities most at risk from earthquakes.

That roadshow will arrive in Fethiye on 9th November 2010 complete with an earthquake simulator, or as the roadshow are calling it, a virtual earthquake. The visit will also coincide with an exhibition by the local authorities on how they will deal with the aftermath of an earthquake.

For more information on TCIP or DASK and how to work out how much a policy on your place will cost make sure you check out our article Insuring your Turkish Property here.