Information about aviation insurance

Types of insurance

    Insurance can generally be divided into four categories: property, life, liability and guarantee insurance.

    Property insurance insures material objects and their related interests and mainly includes fire insurance, marine insurance, cargo insurance, car insurance, aviation insurance, engineering insurance, loss of profits insurance, agricultural insurance.

    Life insurance insures the human body or life and can be divided into life insurance, personal accident insurance, and health insurance.

    Liability insurance covers the insured party for civil liability should they need to pay compensation for damages or any contracted liabilities as the object of insurance. This type mainly includes public liability insurance, product liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and employer’s liability insurance.

    Guarantee insurance is a type of insurance that protects the tangible property or economic benefit to be gained under contract. By nature it is a kind of guarantee, and can be divided into categories of bonding insurance and credit insurance.

 Aircraft insurance is different from aviation personal accident insurance

    The insurance included in the purchase price of a flight ticket is different from aviation personal accident insurance. The insurance included in the ticket is a kind of liability insurance that bonds the airline company to compensate passengers for injury or death caused by the airline. The aircraft insurance includes: (a) aircraft hull insurance, which covers the unintentional damage or destruction of the plane and any equipment attached caused when the plane is either in the air or taxing on the ground; (b) third party liability insurance, which covers the injury or death or property losses of a third party caused by the plane itself or by a person or object falling from the plane; (c) passenger legal liability insurance, which covers the injury or death of a passenger while the passenger is on the plane or while he is getting on or getting off the plane; and/or the losses of luggage and articles carried by the passenger or are already checked-in. “The insurance included in the ticket” which people usually talk about generally means passenger’s legal liability insurance. According to the provision of Article 129 of Civil Aviation Law, the compensation liability is limited to 16600 units of account, which is approximately 20,000 US dollars.

    Any claims against the insurance policy included in the ticket purchase is paid by the insurance company to the airline company and then by the airline company to the passenger. As for aviation personal accident insurance, the passenger holds this policy and will therefore claim compensation directly from the insurance company. Personal accident insurance is purchased by individual passengers on a totally voluntary basis.

General information about aviation insurance
    Aviation insurance is the general name for protection against various kinds of risks and insurances concerning the aircraft. By international standards, aviation insurance is generally divided into the following types:

  • (a) Insurance that covers damage to the hull of the contracted aircraft;
  • (b) Insurance that covers liability for harm to the passenger’s person, luggage and belongings;
  • (c) Insurance that covers liability for damages to a third party outside of the aircraft;
  • (d) Insurance that covers liability for damage to air cargo;
  • (e) Insurance that covers liability for damage to airport facilities and businesses;
  • (f) Insurance that covers liability for loss of an aircraft entrusted to a custodian;
  • (g) Insurance that covers liability for aircraft manufacture or repair;
  • (h) Insurance that covers the injury to a contracted pilot, flight attendant, passenger, etc. suffered while they are onboard.

Travel insurance should not be neglected
    Travel usually involves the use of some sort of vehicles or vessels. Taking out a travel insurance policy is like using a safety belt and as the sayings go, “better safe than sorry” and “it’s always wise to play safe”. Travel insurance coverage begins with check in or with boarding the vehicle or vessel until travel is complete. If, when covered, an accident leads to the traveler’s death, disability, or injury, then the insurance company not only shall pay medical expenses in compliance with the provisions, but also shall pay the full or a portion of the insured amount to the family of the injured or deceased.

    The fees for the purchase of passenger compulsory accident insurance are included in the price of the ticket. When the passengers buy bus tickets, train tickets or boat tickets, they automatically purchase this insurance. The fee charged is 5% of the ticket fare, and the insured amount of every policy is 20,000 RMB.

    In addition, we recommend purchasing travel insurance when going on the following types of travel:

  • (a) Exploration tours. Examples include exploring a great canyon, traveling in a vast desert or heading to a prairie, and exploring caves.
  • (b) Eco-tours. Examples include going to a wild life park to watch animals, picnic and camp.
  • (c) Adventure tour. For example, white water rafting, rock climbing, etc.

    China's insurance companies now offer up a new type of insurance - traveler accommodation personal insurance. The premium for each policy of this insurance is one Yuan. The policy provides coverage for 15 days, beginning at midnight on the first date of accommodation and is subject to renewal upon expiry. Multiple polices can apply at any given time. Liability of each insurance policy consists of three parts: 5000 Yuan coverage for the traveler’s accommodations; coverage of up to 10 thousand Yuan for acts taken in good faith; and coverage of 200 Yuan for compensation for losses to the traveler’s belongings due to accidental damage or theft.

    If during the period of insurance, the traveler dies or becomes disabled or injured in an accident, foreign attack, murder, or while trying to protect the life and property of himself or others; or the belongings that the traveler carries with him are stolen, etc., the insurance company shall pay insurance money according to the applicable standards.

Ten rights of the insured

  • (a) When an insurance salesman comes to visit you, you have the right to ask him to present valid identification and certification.
  • (b) You have the right to ask the salesman to honestly explain the relevant details about the particular type of insurance according to the insurance terms. Before you decide to take out the insurance, please read the insurance terms carefully.
  • (c) When filling out the policy, you must fill in the relevant content truthfully and sign your name; the column of Insured’s signature should be in the insured’s own handwriting (except for children's insurance).
  • (d) Upon payment, the salesman must draw the receipt for temporary takeover of insurance premium on the spot for you, and sign his name and his employee code on this receipt; alternatively you can ask the salesman to take you to the insurance company offices to make payment.
  • (e) If you haven’t received formal insurance policy documents within one month of purchasing the policy, you should contact the insurance company to inquire about the matter. Upon receipt of the insurance policy documents, you should verify it immediately, and if you find any omissions or errors, you have the right to ask the insurance company to make the corrections in a timely manner.
  • (f) Within a certain period after taking out an insurance policy you have the right to apply for termination of the contract. The length of such period depends on the terms set by each company.
  • (g) In the event of any changes in residence due to job transfer or other reasons, please notify the insurance company in a timely manner in order to ensure the enjoyment of continued service.
  • (h) Please pay attention to possible economic losses due to cancellation or reduction of insurance at the time when you decide to take out the insurance.
  • (i) In the event of the need to make a claim, please refer to relevant provisions of the insurance terms and contact the insurance company or the salesman in a timely manner.
  • (j) If you have any questions or concerns while taking out a policy, please consult with the relevant department of the insurance company, or lodge a complaint with the insurance industry association.

E-What is aviation personal accident insurance for?
Q: What is aviation personal accident insurance?
    A: Aviation personal accident insurance is the short for aviation passenger’s personal accident injury insurance. It is a type of commercial insurance specifically designed by the insurance company for air passengers. Its coverage begins the moment the insured passenger steps into the aircraft cabin until the passenger walks out of the cabin door at the destination airport. It covers the passenger in the event of any aircraft accident that occurs during the insurance period (i.e., when the insurant passenger is in the process of boarding or the plane is in the process of taxing, flying, or landing). If the accident causes such personal injury resulting in the insured’s death or disability, then the insurance company shall pay off the death benefit in accordance with the insured amount set forth in the provisions; or the disability benefit, in accordance with the payable proportion corresponding with the physical disability rating.

    Currently the aviation personal accident insurance terms and premium rates adopted by various domestic life insurance companies are those as issued by People’s Bank of China in July 1998. The insurance fee for each policy is RMB 20 Yuan, and the insured amount is 200,000 RMB. Aviation personal accident insurance is available for both domestic and international flights, with the same compensation standards. Each passenger may take out a maximum of 10 policies.

Q: They say that there is already an insurance included in the ticket cost, then why is buying another aviation personal accident insurance necessary?
    A: The insurance included in the ticket is a kind of liability insurance which bonds the airline company to make compensation to the passengers for injury or death due if the airline is held responsible. According to international practices and national civil aviation regulations, the aircraft should be insured. The liability scope of aircraft insurance includes: (a) aircraft hull insurance, which covers the unintentional damage or destruction of the plane and any attached equipment caused when the plane is either in the air or taxiing on the ground. (b) Third party liability insurance, which covers the injury, death or property loss of a third party caused by the plane itself or by a person or object falling from the plane. (c) Passenger’s legal liability insurance, which covers the injury or death of the passenger while the passenger is onboard or getting on or off the plane, and the losses to luggage and belongs carried by the passenger or checked-in. When we say the insurance is already included in the ticket, it generally means the passenger’s legal liability insurance, which is one type of aircraft insurance of the airline company. Air China’s statement concerning the air accident of "4•15" explicitly informed that, "(We should) deal with the circumstances in accordance with international convention and practices and relevant civil aviation regulations."

    Here it should be pointed out that, aircraft insurance and aviation personal accident insurance are two different types of insurance, both of which cover liability and both aim to provide sufficient insurance coverage to air passengers. In case of accidental death, the relatives and family of the deceased receive additional insurance compensation; and the disabled receive additional disability insurance benefits. These policies demonstrate the care and attention of our country towards the personal safety of air passengers.

    But of course, for each and every passenger, the decision to purchase aviation personal accident insurance is a voluntary one. But it is “better to be safe than sorry”, and “it’s always wise to play safe”. It would be best to buy the aviation personal accident insurance as an additional precaution.

Airline companies in our country are going to levy aviation insurance surcharge
    Days ago, CAAC issued an announcement, approving the levy of aviation insurance surcharges by airline companies for passengers traveling on international and HK/Macao routes. According to this announcement, beginning October 15th, airline companies in Mainland China may impose aviation insurance surcharges on passengers on international routes originating from the Mainland (excluding the domestic segments of international routes) and domestic routes heading to HK/Macao, on a standard of not exceeding 2.5 USD per passenger per route segment. Currently, this fee is not charged for domestic routes.

    After the “9-11” terrorist attacks in the US, the world’s insurers jointly adjusted the terms of compensation due to armed attack in third-party liability insurances. The airlines must pay a lump-sum surcharge in addition to the original premium; in the meantime the premium of aircraft hull insurance against armed attack has risen considerably since October 1, 2001.

    The announcement by CAAC pointed out that foreign airline companies and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Macao Special Administrative Region airline companies may impose aviation insurance surcharges on passengers for international routes originating from the Mainland and domestic routes heading to HK and Macao. Also the fee structure and the implementation of the surcharge should be determined by the airline companies and implemented only after reported to and recorded by CAAC.

    It is reported that due to adjustments to aviation insurance policies, Mainland Chinese airline companies spent an extra billion RMB on insurance premiums. And because the insurance premium surcharge is only imposed on international and HK/Macao routes, only 20% of the airline companies’ additional expenses are covered.

Ticket lost
    Passengers who have lost their China Eastern ticket must bring a valid ID card and the copy or the fax of the lost ticket to a ticketing office of China Eastern for handling the lost ticket procedure which can be made within the valid period of the lost ticket. After verification, China Eastern will offer a new ticket within one workday before the departure of the flight for the ticket according to supplementation conditions and supplementation fee will be charged. The supplemented ticket cannot be refunded, changed or transferred.
    Passengers can also handle the refunding procedure according to the refunding applicable conditions after 90 days since expiration of the lost tickets (150 days since the expiration if outward voyage route is included). China Eastern may charge a corresponding refund fee.
    China Eastern undertakes no responsibility if the lost ticket is falsely used or refunded by others.

Refunding
    Passengers can propose a refunding application if part or whole travel route is not finished within the valid period. If NON-REF or NON-REFUND is marked on the ticket, the ticket can not be refunded.     Passengers should bring personal traveling credentials and tickets (if valid) to the original booking place for handling the refunding procedure.     If passengers wish to refund voluntarily, China Eastern charges the refunding fee according to the price of the tickets and the applicable conditions. If the journey is terminated at a flight exchange point due to the will of the passenger, the fee of the ticket for the unused route should not be refunded.     If passengers can not travel on the original flight or the original class because of China Eastern, passengers can choose to refund free of charge.     If passengers ask for refunds after the handling of the boarding procedure because of being refused boarding due to the disconnection of credentials or the violation of relevant regulations of the government or carrier, etc., China Eastern may charge a refund fee according to regulations of voluntary refunding.

Overbooking
    According to the common practice of the international air transportation industry, China Eastern may overbook some flights. Under individual overbooking conditions, individual passenger may not be able to travel on the original flight.     For those passengers, China Eastern may arrange the earliest available flight for passengers and carry different compliment measures according to the specific routes and the delayed time of the passengers.

Transferring
    According to the applicable conditions of tickets, China Eastern can attend to flight transferring formalities for passengers of our company and passengers holding China Eastern tickets. However, the ticket transfer can only be carried out with other air companies that have signed clearing agreements with China Eastern. China Eastern tickets held by passengers or non-China Eastern tickets containing China Eastern route can not be transferred if the original carrier for the route is required to be changed due to personal reasons or if NON-END or NON-ENDORSABLE is marked on the tickets. Otherwise, the transferring procedure is allowed based on confirmation from China Eastern.     If passengers cannot travel on their original flight due to China Eastern, China Eastern should handle the transferring procedure according to the usage conditions of the seats of other carriers when the passengers choose to be transferred to another carrier.

Boarding
    In order to ensure the schedule of the flight, internal flights of China Eastern may start boarding procedures two hours before departure and cease procedures 45 minutes before departure. National flights will start boarding procedures 90 minutes before departure and cease boarding 30 minutes before departure. In order to avoid missing the flight, passengers are required to arrive at the airport counter during boarding time.

Voluntary Itinerary Change
    If passengers fail to use their reserved seat or travel on their reserved flight due to personal reasons, the reserved continuing or returning flight seats will be cancelled. New seats are required to be booked if the passenger wished to continue travel.

Non-check-in Baggage
    Every passenger is only allowed to carry one piece of non-check-in baggage with a weight limit of 5kg and a volume limit of 20x40x55cm.

Check-in Baggage
    Every piece of check-in baggage cannot exceed 32kg and must have a volume under 40x60x100cm.

Free Baggage Allowance
    For national transportation, the free baggage allowance of passengers (including consignment baggage and non-consignment baggage) is: 40kg for first-class passengers, 30kg for business class passengers and 20kg for economy class passengers. There is no free baggage allowance for infants who pay for tickets at 10% of an adult price.
    For national and regional transportation applicable to weight free baggage allowance, the free baggage allowance of passengers is: 40kg for first-class passengers, 30kg for business class passengers, 20kg for economy class passengers and 10kg for infants who pay for tickets at 10% of an adult price.
    For national transportation applicable to free pieces of baggage allowance, first-class passengers and business class passengers may carry two pieces of baggage free of charge, where every piece of baggage should not exceed 32kg. The sum of the three edges of every piece of baggage should not exceed158cm. Economy class passengers traveling on the China-America route and China-Canada route can carry two pieces of baggage free of charge, where every piece of baggage should not exceed 23kg; the sum of the three edges of every piece of baggage should not exceed158cm, and the total sum of the three edges of two pieces should not exceed 273cm. Infant with 10% price tickets may carry one piece of baggage free of charge, where the sum of the three edges should not exceed 115cm. In addition, one totally-folded or portable infant trolley may be carried free of charge.

Articles that cannot be brought with or carried
    Firearms, military or police instruments (containing main parts); explosives; restrained knives; flammable and explosive articles; toxic articles; corrosive articles: radioactive articles; other articles endangering flight safety, such as strong magnetized articles that may interfere with the normal working of various panels on the plane, articles with a pungent smell, and other articles that are banned to be carried and transported by national laws and regulations.

Articles that cannot be carried in checked baggage
    Important documents and data, diplomatic letters and bags, securities, money, circulating notes and certificates, valuable, fragile and perishable articles and other articles that are required to be taken care of by special persons can not be carried in checked baggage.. China Eastern bears the liability to pay compensation for losses or damages of the above articles contained in consigned baggage according to standard baggage compensation rules.

Baggage packing
    The checked baggage must be packed, locked well and bound firmly, must be able to bear certain pressure and safely loaded, unloaded, and transported under normal operation conditions. China Eastern can refuse to carry baggage which does not adhere to these conditions.

Baggage compensation
    If consigned baggage is damaged or lost totally or partly, the amount of compensation given will be in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.

Responsibilities for flight delay
    If the flight is delayed or canceled due to aircraft maintenance, flight allocation, business affairs, flight crew, etc., China Eastern may provide on-the-spot flight information and services of meals or accommodation arrangements for passengers. If the flight is delayed or canceled due to reasons of climate, emergent events, air traffic control, security inspection and non-carriers of passengers, etc., China Eastern can provide flight information for passengers and help passengers with meal and accommodation arrangements. And fees are undertaken by passengers themselves.

Compensation Liability
    The maximum limited liability insurance paid to every passenger by China Eastern is transacted according to related laws.