After the government describes the quake as a catastrophic event

Morocco activates insurance coverage for earthquake victims

AFP/FETHI BELAID - Esta imagen muestra casas destruidas en la ciudad de Afella Ighir, afectada por el terremoto el 17 de septiembre de 2023
AFP/FETHI BELAID - This image shows destroyed houses in the quake-hit town of Afella Ighir on 17 September 2023.

Shortly after the Moroccan government described last September's earthquake in Al Haouz as a catastrophic event, the Moroccan Insurance Federation (FMA) announced the immediate activation of the system of coverage for victims of catastrophic events. As reported by Le Matin, insured persons and benefit recipients have until 7 November to submit their claims for compensation.

"Following the official declaration of the State of catastrophe within the meaning of law 110-14 for the Al Haouz earthquake that occurred on the night of Friday 8 September 2023, the Moroccan Insurance Federation (FMA) announces the activation of the insurance component of the victims' scheme with insurance contracts that include coverage against the consequences of catastrophic events," the federation said in a statement.

The contracts giving entitlement to material and/or bodily compensation are as follows, provided that the injured parties are located in one of the declared disaster areas

  • Insurance contracts covering property damage such as multi-risk home insurance, industrial multi-risk, risk or even commercial multi-risk. 
  • Automobile insurance contracts for damage to the vehicle but also for bodily injury suffered by the owner, spouse and children (including in the event of death). 
  • Liability insurance contracts such as operational liability for bodily injury caused to third parties located on the premises covered by the contracts. 

The Moroccan Insurance Federation has also instructed policyholders to make their declaration and send in their claims by 7 November 2023.

"Insurance companies will be responsible for directly registering insured victims who apply for compensation in the national census and remain, with their distribution networks, mobilised to answer all questions," says the same source.

This was announced after the head of government, Aziz Akhannouch, signed a decree formalising the classification of the 8 September earthquake as a natural disaster. The decision was made public in the Official Gazette of 19 October.

REUTERS/HANNAH McKAY - Vista general de la Mezquita de Tinmel, que fue dañada por el mortal terremoto, en Tinmel, Marruecos, 11 de septiembre de 2023
REUTERS/HANNAH McKAY - General view of the Tinmel Mosque, which was damaged by the deadly earthquake, in Tinmel, Morocco, 11 September 2023

This decree identifies six specific zones in Morocco as "disaster": the provinces of Al Haouz, Taroudant, Chichaoua, Ouarzazate, Azilal and Marrakech. In total, 169 municipalities in these provinces were affected by the devastating earthquake.

The duration of this "catastrophic event" was also set at 24 hours, starting at 23:11 on the night of Friday 8 September 2023. This decree officially opens the way for a series of procedures, such as the census of victims and the application of insurance against the consequences of catastrophic events.

In addition, this decree also makes it possible to activate the Solidarity Fund against Catastrophic Events (FSEC) to compensate disaster victims who do not have insurance. This fund, created in 2020, makes it possible to compensate victims of damage occurring in Morocco whose determining origin is the abnormally intense action of a natural agent or the violent action of man.