China Airlines Fully Insured for 747 Crash Claims

May 27, 2002

As rescuers attempt to locate the flight recorders, and continue the grim task of trying to recover the remains of the 225 people aboard a China Airlines 747 that apparently disintegrated on a flight from Taipei to Hong Kong, the company stated that it was fully insured for any damage claims.

According to a report from Reuters News Agency nine Taiwanese companies, including Fubon Insurance and Union Insurance, were the primary insurers. The lane itself, a 23-year-old Boeing 747 was insured for $20 million. No statement has yet been made concerning the policy limits on damage claims.

The cause of the crash remains a mystery. The plane was 20 minutes into its planned flight, and had reached an altitude of 30,000 feet, when it suddenly disappeared from controller’s radar screens. Radar images show it breaking up into four main sections, and the debris, which is spread over a wide area, indicates that it disintegrated at a high altitude. Investigators, however, have yet to determine the cause.

Theories range from a missile strike, or midair collision, to an exploding fuel tank, similar to the one that caused the midair explosion of a TWA 747 over Long Island Sound in 1996.

This is the fourth major disaster for China Airlines since 1994, and officials acknowledged that higher premiums would almost certainly be required to renew the airline’s coverage when negotiations begin with its insurers in August.

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