This guide will take you through how Turkish car insurance works, how to insure your car in Turkey, how to cancel a Turkish insurance policy, and how to make a car insurance claim.
A vehicle registered in Turkey must have insurance from the day it is registered until the day it is officially de-registered or removed from Turkey. This will include insurance for periods when it was not being used (‘off the road’) or parked on private land.
The minimum insurance requirement is insurance that covers risk to third parties (people, cars, and property).
Other (and fuller) types of insurance are available and recommended because, in Turkey, third party insurance does not cover injury to your own passengers and damage to your own car.
The penalty for not having car insurance is a fine of TRY95. In addition, your car will be towed to a car parking lot and will be prohibited from being driven away until you have a valid insurance policy. Of course, the real penalty of not having insurance is that if you have an accident and cause damage or injury you will not be covered. Not only will you have to live with the consequences, but this could leave you exposed to claims of €1million or more if you cause someone permanent disability.
Insuring your foreign-registered car in Turkey
This is not possible.
Foreign cars must be insured by an insurance company in the country in which the car is registered. That company will produce proof that you have insurance valid for use in Turkey. This is the “Green Card”. The card is in an internationally recognised, multilingual format and recognised in 45 countries around the world.
Types of car insurance in Turkey
There are four main types of insurance available in Turkey, plus some additional extra cover that you may add on to a standard policy.
Compulsory traffic insurance (Zorunlu Trafik Sigortası)
This complies with the basic requirements of Turkish law but offers little or nothing more than that.
Limited vehicle insurance (Dar Kasko)
This provides all the cover required by law, plus other cover. This insurance is the most comprehensive standard insurance available for vehicles in Turkey. It covers not only injury to third parties (including your passengers) but also damage caused to you and to your own vehicle, and the loss of your vehicle by reason of theft, fire, or any other cause.
Intermediate insurance (Genişletilmiş Kasko)
In this version, on top of the limited vehicle insurance referred to above, you can add one or two additional clauses (such as cover whilst abroad).
Full Vehicle Insurance (Tam Kasko)
This policy includes all of the above but with all the possible options for additional cover: e.g. losses caused by force majeure (‘acts of God’), terrorism, or damage by animals.
Roadside assistance insurance (Yol Asistanı)
This covers you in the event of breakdown, and also covers you for the breakage of glass and legal expenses if your main policy does not cover them.
Additional driver and passenger insurance (Ekstra Sürücü Teminatı)
This covers loss or damage to the driver and passengers of the car, including loss of earnings. This is only needed if you do not have full vehicle insurance.
How long does Turkish car insurance last?
Insurance policies normally last for one year. Some companies will offer short-term policies (typically for three months or six months) but these tend to be very expensive for the cover they offer.
Who will be covered by the policy?
By default, the only person who will be entitled to drive the vehicle is the person who took out the insurance policy.
However, when you make your application for insurance (complete the proposal), you can select other options:
- You and your husband/wife
- You and your husband/wife and any childrenwho live with you
- You and a named driver or drivers
- Any driver
Of course, the only people entitled to drive will be those who have a licence to drive that category of vehicle in Turkey. This will include people entitled to drive on the basis of their foreign driving licence.
The proposal for insurance
Insurance companies and their contracts are regulated by the Insurance Association of Turkey. Technically, your contract of insurance is a contract like any other and, therefore, it also needs to comply with the general requirements of Turkish contract law.
However, in practice, the application for insurance is a standard form that contains all the terms necessary to comply with both the insurance and contract laws.
Once the application for insurance is sent to the insurance company, the law allows them a maximum of 15 days during which to make you an offer of insurance or to decline your proposal.
If they do make you an offer of insurance, you are not obliged to accept it.
If the company makes you an offer of insurance, they must honour that offer for a period of 14 days from the date upon which it was made.
In practice, insurance is now normally arranged over the internet and the offer is made and accepted instantly.
Until a couple of years ago, the biggest problem was that all the local insurance companies would only accept proposals in Turkish and only had websites in Turkish. Today each of the insurance companies has a website in English and a proposal form in English. Some have websites and proposal forms in other languages, too.
The insurance policy
This will be issued in Turkish. This is a legal requirement. In most cases, you will also be offered a translation into English or (more rarely) another language.
Can I obtain my car insurance from a company outside of Turkey?
No. To insure a car registered in Turkey you must use an insurance company licensed to operate in Turkey.
Which Turkish car insurance company should I use?
When deciding which company to use, most people are influenced mainly by price.
They should be more concerned about what happens when they make a claim. How easy will it be? Is there a claim line in their own language? Does the company pay out quickly when a claim is made, or do they try to find excuses for non-payment?
The good news is that all the Turkish insurance companies have an excellent record for making payments without unnecessary fuss when you make a claim. They are required to do this by Turkish law.
However, this does not make them all equal. There is a huge advantage of having the application form and a claim line available in your own language. If you speak English, this is not a problem as all the companies provide these facilities but if you speak (say) Russian or Swedish the options are more limited.
As the availability of language support changes regularly, we leave you to check on the individual insurance companies’ websites to see what is currently available.