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Dana crash: Insurers pay N373m to 79 relatives

By on November 12, 2012

Dana Air MD-80 Plane Wreckage

Five months after a Dana Air plane crashed in Lagos and left 153 passengers and crew members dead, the airline’s insurers have paid $2.37m (N373.04m) claims to relatives of the deceased.

The Managing Director, Prestige Assurance, Mr. Anand Mittal, disclosed this to our correspondent in Lagos on Friday.

Prestige Assurance led six other local insurance firms to insure 30 per cent of the airline’s risk locally, while the remaining 70 per cent was reinsured abroad. The coinsurers are Nem Insurance Plc, Aiico Insurance Plc, Continental Reinsurance Plc, Leadway Assurance Company Limited, Sterling Assurance Limited and Standard Alliance Insurance.

“We have paid $30,000, which is about 30 per cent of the total claims of each of the 79 applicants, who have completed their documentation so far. No other relatives have submitted their completed documents,” Mittal said,

He said the aircraft’s foreign reinsurers had demanded for some documents to enable them commence the settlement of their own part of the claims.

According to him, the relatives are required to present letters of administration of the estate of the deceased and death certificates, which none of them have been able to get so far.

He said relatives of those who died on the ground and those who lost their properties to the crash, would also be compensated. He, however, said they had not yet been paid because the amount due to each of them had not been ascertained.

“The parties are dealing with that; when they finalise on the amount, we will pay them. We do not know how much that is going to be for now because that is being done by their solicitors,” Mittal said,

The Deputy Director, Administration and Policy, National Insurance Commission, Mr. Leo Akah, had said the local underwriters had commenced the payment of about 30 per cent of what the relatives of the victims were entitled to.

He, however, said the foreign reinsurers, who took 70 per cent of the risk, had not commenced payment because the relatives of the victims were yet to produce the needed documents.

According to him, the foreign reinsurers are requesting for death certificates and letters of administration, which the relatives have not been able to produce.

Though the process of getting a letter of administration might be cumbersome, Akah said it was not an insurmountable challenge.

“The relatives are supposed to be paid an initial payment within the first 30 days, but again, there are issues; we have to identify the rightful beneficiaries; right now, there are multiple claimants showing up,” he said.

The NAICOM official, who said different people had been coming forward as relatives of the victims, added that this had slowed down the pace of payment.

According to him, the relatives of each victim are entitled to $100,000 each, which is the internationally acceptable standard.

Akah said the balance of $70,000 would be paid after the presentation of the death certificate and letter of administration.

The African Insurance Brokers Association, a body of the African insurance organisations, however, said the crash of the Dana aircraft might lower the position of the continent’s aviation insurance sector in terms of global rating.

“The position of the African aviation insurance sector to the global market may dip further in the current year, following the volume of claims that will be coming from the recent crash in Lagos of the Dana aircraft that caused the death of many people,” the association stated.

AIBA said analysis had indicated low level of risk management practice across different sectors in the African business environment if the comments of technical error from the Dana crash were anything to go by.

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 it to be completely disproportionate to the amount of flights.

The association had highlighted the issues of aircraft in the region operating with ill-trained crews in poorly regulated environment.

AIBA noted that in 2011, aviation claims from Africa stood at about $65m due to the crash of two Congo Democratic’s civilian planes, leading to the death of 109 people; and Moroccan Hercules Air Force plane, Dolon, which caused the death of 80 people on board.

According to AIBA, in 2011, the global industry had the lowest aviation claims since1995, despite the fact that the loss figures stood at $1.13m, from $2.09m in 2010.

It said that the African aviation insurance pool’s premium dropped by 32.4 per cent from $5.8m in 2010 to $3.9m in 2011.

Despite the drop in premium, AIBA said the pool recorded $824,720 in 2011, from a lower record in 2010.


Source: Punch