Lack of house insurance undermines Turkish buildings

Only 9 percent of houses in Van were insured against earthquake, officials say. Particularly the old houses not only in the earthquake-hit province, but the whole country are theathening lives of millions, experts warn.

Less than 10 percent of the houses in the quake-stricken eastern province of Van were insured, according to the top executive at Turkey’s main earthquake insurance authority.

“Only 7,318 out of the houses out of the total of 84,000 in the province were insured,” Selamet Yazıcı, the board chairman of the Turkish Catastrophe Insurance Pool (TCIP), told Anatolia news agency yesterday.

“This would mean only 9 percent of the houses are insured,” he said, noting that house insurance rates were lowest in the eastern region of the country.