The COVID-19 crisis has been a shock for Turkish companies, as it was around the world. The severity and reach of the pandemic have made us all think about what could have been managed better and what lessons can be learned from it. The pandemic has underlined the value of risk management, forcing companies to adapt to remote work, learn new technologies, and find different ways to serve clients and customers. Most importantly I believe that the role of risk managers and risk awareness in general have increased substantially.
COVID-19 and Turkey
Looking specifically at Turkey, there are four main points I would like to address.
First of all I think that the Turkish Insurance market has reacted quite well to the pandemic. Nearly all companies started working remotely at the very beginning of the crisis.The Ministry permitted assessments, exemptions of invoices, indemnity payments on a digital basis.
Secondly, the insurance companies responded positively with regards to the different fees and treatment costs of COVID-19 (which are excluded in nearly all policies in Turkey and covered by the state scheme) to be covered during the epidemic as ex gratia payments in the scope of existing policies.
Thirdly, in addition COVID-19 has accelerated digitalization in Turkey, like it did in most countries. I believe that in Turkey we reached a point in digitalisation which we wouldn’t have reached in such a short time without this crisis. A lot of companies have accepted that Digitalization is not a choice anymore but it’s becoming a requirement if one wants to remain competitive in its markets.