By Ebere Nwojiâ€¨
The Nigerian Air Force plane, Dornier- 228, which crashed into a house in Kaduna State last Saturday, killing all seven people on board had no insurance cover, THISDAY has learnt.
However, the occupants of the ill-fated aircraft were said to have individually insured their lives.
THISDAY gathered that the insurance status of the ill-fated plane was confirmed to it through a text message by the Air Force Public Relations Officer, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, who in reply to earlier message sent to him by THISDAY, on the insurance status of the aircraft simply said: “Military aircraft do not have insurance cover but the individual personnel have life insurance cover.”
Enquiries on why military aircrafts are not usually insured revealed that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) which stipulates global requirement for aircraft excludes military aircraft from insurance, as such, there is no legislation or body regulating the operations of military aircraft world wide.
When THISDAY visited the public Affairs department of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the officer in charge who does not want his name in print declined to comment on the matter but after much pressure, he explained that what the authority regulates is civilian planes as its name implies and not military planes.
He said concerning aviation matters, the military does its own regulation and the NCAA has no right to question them because they are outside its purview.
But civil aviation expert and past president of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, Mr. Sunny Adeda, told THISDAY that all over the world, military planes are not insured, not because there is any specific law excluding them but because it is a very high profile risk business.
According to him, the risk is so high that no insurance company would want to put hands into the business because three military planes can be bombed in a day and no insurance company would want to be involved in such risk.
He said “Who wants to insure military plane? Nobody, because it can erode your income under one day because three military planes can be bombed within one day, they can even be bombed where they are parked and you know what that means in terms of claims for an insurance company.”
Asked who will take responsibility of settling the third-party damage when a military plane crashes like the air force plane that clashed into a house in Kaduna State, Adeda said government takes such responsibility.
Under normal circumstance, aviation insurance consists of three major aspects which include the insurance of the aircraft, third party liability insurance and the passenger liability insurance.Claims from the insurance of aircraft are usually followed by huge settlements, which call for proper sharing of the risks among underwriters and reinsurers.
The aircraft insurance provides compensation for losses due to technical damage to the plane; the third party liability provides settlement for damage the plane may cause to other people’s lives or assets on the ground, while the passenger’s liability insurance provides cover for those on board who may die or suffer injuries in the event of a crash.