Photo taken with a mobile phone shows rescuers searching for the black boxes at a plane crash site in Tengxian County, South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, March 22, 2022. (Photo/Xinhua)
Chinese insurers are stepping up efforts to offer quick support following the crash on Monday of a China Eastern Airlines plane with 132 people aboard. They have begun verifying information on insured passengers and preparing compensation payments.
The nearly 7-year-old Boeing 737-800 jet, which was carrying 123 passengers and nine crew members, was traveling from Kunming, Yunnan province, to Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Monday afternoon when it crashed in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
The People's Insurance Co (Group) of China Ltd, one of China's leading insurers, is the chief underwriter of the plane that crashed.
The company said in a statement on Monday evening that it has started its emergency mechanism for major accident claims and established a special working group. Related employees of PICC have arrived in Guangxi to deal with the follow-up work.
Meanwhile, the subsidiary companies of Ping An Insurance Group Co also took steps related to the underwriting of the flight. The Guangdong branch of Ping An Property &Casualty Co Ltd jointly insures all risks and liabilities of the fuselage, and the company said it would follow up on the handling of the accident as well as the search and rescue progress.
As of 6:30 pm on Monday, Ping An Insurance said it had received four inquiries connected to the crash, and the company has been verifying information.
It also has launched a psychological counseling program for family members of the passengers on the flight.
"When major accidents with extremely small probabilities like an airplane crash occur, insurance companies usually speed up the process of claim settlements, as it is related to the reputation of insurers. Usually, the head offices of different insurers will handle the issues directly," said Wang Guojun, a professor at the School of Insurance and Economics of the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
China Pacific Insurance Co, another insurer of the flight, said it has started a related internal verification process about airframe insurance, group accident insurance, flight accident insurance and other types of insurance with institutions in Yunnan.
The Guangxi office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said emergency response teams at the regional and municipal levels have been established regarding the plane crash.
The office required the 44 insurance companies in the region to start the emergency mechanism and conduct comprehensive investigations, according to China Banking and Insurance News.