Insurers have paid out $6.26 million to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 families

A family member of a passenger onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, cries during a protest demanding the Malaysian government to keep searching the missing flight, in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing on Jan 29, 2015. -- PHOTO:
A family member of a passenger onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, cries during a protest demanding the Malaysian government to keep searching the missing flight, in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing on Jan 29, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Insurers in Malaysia have settled a total of RM16.8 million (S$6.26 million) worth of life insurance claims with the next-of-kin of passengers and crew members of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, state news agency Bernama reported on Friday.

The report came a day after Malaysian civil aviation authorities declared the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 last year an "accident" and that all 239 people aboard were presumed dead. The declaration meant the process of compensation could begin, said Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.

But according to a statement released by the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) on Friday, 14 life insurance companies in Malaysia had already settled claims made on 185 policies since March last year.

"Life insurers have treated the accident as an extraordinary event and have waived all proof of death as early as March 2014 to process the claim payment," the statement said according to Bernama.

"For life policies, the amount payable is based on the sum insured," the statement added said. It also expressed its deepest sympathies to the family members and next-of-kin of those on board MH370.

The insurers involved were AIA Bhd, Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Bhd, AmLife Insurance Bhd, AXA AFFIN Life Insurance Bhd, Etiqa Insurance Bhd, Gibraltar BSN Life Bhd, Great Eastern Life Assurance (M) Bhd, Hong Leong Assurance Bhd, Manulife Insurance Bhd, MCIS Insurance Bhd, Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd, Sun Life Malaysia Assurance Bhd, Tokio Marine Life Insurance Malaysia Bhd and Zurich Insurance Malaysia Bhd, Bernama said.