The Insurance Sector Came Together at the 'Ordinary General Assembly' of TSB

The Ordinary General Assembly of the Insurance Association of Turkey was held with the participation of sector stakeholders and member companies. At the meeting where TSB President Benli presented his 2022 evaluations, the issues that will stand out in 2023, earthquake actions, and post-earthquake actions held an important place.

The Ordinary General Assembly of the Insurance Association of Turkey (TSB), the umbrella organization of the insurance sector, was held on April 25, 2023, with the participation of industry stakeholders and member companies. At the meeting, TSB President Atilla Benli, President of SEDDK Mehmet Akif Eroğlu, and CEO of the New Zealand Insurance Council Tim Grafton shared important information about the industry. Mehmet Ali Akben, the President of BDDK, also attended the meeting.

At the General Assembly organized with the participation of TSB member companies and important names in the sector, the current situation and the future of the insurance industry were discussed. President Benli emphasized the added value that the insurance sector provides to the country's economy and reminded that the Kahramanmaraş earthquake once again highlighted that insurance is the most important tool for remedying the financial damages that cannot be prevented despite all precautions and returning to normal life. Speaking about the steps that the sector will take and the work carried out from now on, Benli said: "Our health, nature, land, cities, homes, cars, and savings are all protected by insurance. Therefore, increasing insurance awareness is everyone's most important responsibility."

Eroğlu: "We Should Spread Insurance Awareness to the Public in a Sustainable Manner"

SEDDK President Mehmet Akif Eroğlu emphasized that insurance has strategic value for the country's economy and made the following statement: "We are going through a period where risks are diversifying and deepening. Recent earthquakes, the emergence of new faults, climate change, and cyber attacks are among the most important ones. Each risk contains different opportunities. Awareness has reached the highest level with the earthquake. We have only one priority on our agenda. To sustain this awareness in a sustainable way to the grassroots. To turn communication strategies into policies. This is my call to the entire sector. We need to use this opportunity well."

Eroğlu also provided information on SEDDK's roadmap for the new period: "We will implement the vision document that includes financial insurance, participation insurance, a new roadmap and employment in the health sector, the new earthquake tariff, regulations related to insurance sold in banks, rehabilitation and segmentation of distribution channels, resolution of the policy production problem with the traffic operations center, and activation of the remaining part of the traffic roadmap."

Atilla Benli, stating that the umbrella organization of the insurance sector TSB considers contributing to the Turkish economy as its most important responsibility, pointed out that the amount of funds provided by the sector to the economy has reached 644 billion Turkish Liras. The TSB President reminded that these funds contribute to Turkey's long-term financing needs and expressed the following about the development of the sector: "While our country is the 20th largest economy in the world, it ranks 38th in insurance. There are ways to go and opportunities to evaluate for insurance, which is the second largest sector after banking. I believe that we will walk this path together successfully. We are pleased to see that the sector's compound annual growth rate was 29% between 2013-2022. On the other hand, we achieved great success by increasing our premium production to 235 billion TL. In BES and OKS, where our state has realized significant reforms in recent years, the compound annual growth rate between 2013-2022 was 37%. As of March 2023, our fund size has also increased to 454 billion TL."

Benli: "Insurance is positioned at the center of disaster management"

The President of TSB, stating that they have been and will continue to be with the earthquake victims along with all stakeholders since the first day of the earthquakes, continued his words as follows: "We immediately started our work both in the field and from our centers. Within this scope, we collected 13.3 billion TL in cash aid, 383,000 clothes, 5.4 million hygiene materials, 92 trucks, 4 field kitchens, 323 containers, 9 ambulances, 10.4 million aid equipment, and 322,000 food aid to send to earthquake victims."

The President of TSB also stated that they have conducted various activities for coordinating the claims processes, intensifying information sharing with public institutions, and forwarding the requests received from the sector to relevant institutions, thus taking critical steps for insured individuals to reach compensation in the fastest way possible.

Atilla Benli: “Our insurance sector has been located in a very central point within disaster management, assuming important responsibilities. Together with all our stakeholders, we mobilized our resources and stood by the citizens affected by the earthquake. We also did not forget that our sector workers became disaster victims themselves. From the first day of the disaster, we started working to address the problems and deficiencies of the insurance sector employees. With the initiatives taken by our companies, we provided financial, logistical, and operational support for the agents affected by the earthquake.

If we compare our sector with insurance in developed countries around the world, we see that we have no deficiencies, and we are even in a better position in terms of quality, preparation, and human resources. We have the guarantee power to restore all insured assets to their pre-earthquake state. As long as we stand side by side with our government as a nation and private sector, we will overcome these difficult times with our unity and solidarity spirit, and together we will build a stronger future.”

Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK) President Mehmet Ali Akben, who attended the Ordinary General Assembly of TSB, stated that the earthquake once again reminded the importance of the insurance sector. Akben said, "We need to strengthen the insurance sector. We are always ready for cooperation for the contributions that banks will provide in this regard."

One of the important guests of the TSB General Assembly was also Tim Grafton, CEO of the Insurance Council of New Zealand. In his speech, Tim Grafton addressed many topics related to insurance and earthquakes, from the challenging process following the earthquakes in New Zealand in 2010-2011, to the actions taken and the methods still being applied today, given that New Zealand is surrounded by fault lines. He shared his experiences on insurance and earthquakes.

Grafton emphasized the need for new legal regulations in this regard, reminding that sensitivity should be shown to key social issues in addition to the difficulties caused by material damage. Pointing out that the service sector is disrupted after disasters, the CEO of the New Zealand Insurance Council emphasized the importance of creating relevant policies before earthquakes to be prepared for the situation. Tim Grafton drew attention to the increased need for information by policyholders during the post-disaster process, highlighting that frequent communication about the process helps to restore confidence.
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