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Insurer pays N821m to Dana crash victims’ relatives

By on August 14, 2014

No fewer than 106 relatives of the passengers who lost their lives in the ill-fated Dana aircraft that crashed on June 3, 2012 have received insurance claims totalling $5.05m (N821m), according to the lead underwriter of the airline.

The Managing Director, Prestige Assurance Plc, Mr. Anand Mittal, disclosed this to our correspondent in an exclusive interview in Lagos on Monday.

“As of August 11, 2014, we have made advance payments to 106 passengers and final payments have been made to 68 passengers’ relatives,” Mittal said.

He explained that two out of the 68, who collected the final claims, were relatives of the ground victims, while the rest were relatives of the passengers abroad the aircraft.

The managing director noted that 30 per cent of the total claims, or $30,000 per head, was expected to be paid within 30 days of the loss as the initial liability, while the balance was to be paid after the presentation of letters of administration by the victims’ family members.

According to him, the number of passengers in the crashed plane was 147, while the crew members made the number of those on the plane to be 153.

Mittal noted that the family of one of the two pilots involved in the crash, who hailed from Florida, United States, had been given N4m, but that the relatives of the other pilot from India had yet to submit the necessary documents that would enable them to get the claims.

Aviation insurance consists of three major aspects – the insurance of the aircraft, third party liability insurance and the passenger liability insurance.

Claims from the insurance of aircraft are usually followed by huge settlements, which call for proper sharing of the risks among underwriters and reinsurers. The ill-fated Dana plane was reinsured 70 per cent abroad, while 10 local underwriters joined hands to share the local risks.

The aircraft insurance provides compensation for losses due to technical damage to the plane; the third party liability provides settlement for damage the plane may cause to other people’s lives or assets on the ground; while the passenger’s liability insurance provides cover for those on board who may die or suffer injuries in the event of a crash.

According to international ratings for insurance claims, a minimum of $100,000 is to be paid to the family of each passenger who died in plane crashes.

Over the years, the frequent dropping of planes recorded in the Nigerian aviation sector has contributed to the low rating of risk management in Africa.

The African Insurance Brokers Association, a body of the African Insurance Organisation, had expressed worries over the low position of the continent’s aviation insurance sector in terms of global rating.

According to AIBA, Africa has less than 10 per cent of the world’s civil aviation traffic but with over 40 per cent of the total accident rate, which makes the accident rate to be completely disproportionate to the amount of flights.

The association said that this showed that aircraft in the region were operating with less well trained crews in less well regulated environment.