KUALA LUMPUR - The next of kin of those on board Flight MH370 can start filing for life insurance claims without having to wait for death certificates.
In view of the special circumstances of the tragedy, life insurance companies in the country have agreed to accord priority in facilitating and speeding up claims payment, said the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia.
"Once the proper claimant has been identified, payment can be processed within a week," LIAM president Vincent Kwo said in a statement yesterday.
The Malaysian Takaful Association, too, has given an assurance that its member companies will help to expedite the claims process.
The Kuala Lumpur-Beijing flight went missing on March 8. On Monday, the Government announced that it had ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
Among the 239 passengers and crew on board were 153 Chinese nationals, 50 Malaysians and seven Indonesians.
Kwo said several of LIAM member companies had started to process the life insurance claims.
Industry representatives decided to make the claim processes simple and agreed to waive the death certificate requirement, he said.
"Usually, the next of kin have to wait for seven years," he added.
He said initial checks had indicated that 47 of the 50 Malaysians had life insurance policies with 14 companies.
Six non-Malaysians were also insured with LIAM members.
The 14 companies are Allianz Life Insurance Malaysia Bhd, AMLife Insurance Berhad, AIA Bhd, AXA Affin Life Insurance Bhd, Etiqa Insurance Bhd, Great Eastern Life Assurance (Malaysia) Bhd, Hong Leong Assurance Bhd, Manulife Insurance Bhd, MCIS Zurich Insurance Bhd, Prudential Assurance Malaysia Bhd, Sun Life Malaysia Assurance Bhd, Tokio Life Insurance Malaysia Bhd, Uni.Asia Life Assurance Bhd and Zurich Insurance Malaysia Bhd.
Family members of policy-holders can contact LIAM at 03-2691 6628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out which company their loved ones were insured with.
Malaysian Takaful Association chairman Zainudin Ishak said some of those on board were Takaful certificate holders and that the MTA member companies would assist and speed up the claims process.
The affected family members may contact MTA at 03-2031 8160 or email email@example.com for details.
Malaysia Airlines, in an announcement to Bursa Malaysia, said the airline had received a copy of a petition filed in a US court against MAS and Boeing.
"Our lawyers have been briefed and are on standby to deal with this although it has not been formally serviced," it said, adding that it was not a lawsuit but a request through the courts for information.