Washington Business Report: March 23, 2014

Insurance payouts to Flight 370 families could climb

Insurance giant Allianz started paying claims on this month's missing Malaysian flight, but just how much will be disbursed will only be clear once the fate of the flight is discovered.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 took off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8, but lost contact with air traffic control an hour later and vanished from the radar.
No trace of the plane and its 239 passengers have been found and few details about what could have happened to the plane have been determined.
"As a matter of law an international convention, when something like this happens, there's an immediate requirement to pay the families something to help them with bereavement," says Jonathan Aberman, Managing Director of TandemNSI, a public/private partnership to promote national security innovation and commercialization. "Then, there's going to be another amount that's going to be paid pretty soon based upon strict liability when airplanes crash."

"The real issue here is going to be whether or not there was terrorism involved. If there was terrorism involved, the insurance company is going to be looking at big claims," he told Washington Business Report, noting approximately $2.3 billion was paid out as a result of 9/11 crashes.