The Germanwings crash is going to cost the insurance companies a pretty penny.
Parent company Lufthansa is already liable to pay the families of each and every one of the 149 people who died 140,000 euros automatically under the terms of the 1999 Montreal convention. Lead insurer Allianz has already made 50,000 euro payments to every family.
However, if pilot suicide is proved to be the cause Lufthansa and its insurers will be liable for claims that could hit 279 million euros.
Allianz is not the only insurance company involved, but it is Lufthansa’s insurer and it is taking on an umbrella role. Also included are Lufthansa’s own in-house insurer, and smaller firms.
Lufthansa may be able to argue that the loss of the plane is covered by their policy, and they could recoup some of the costs, but the personal liabilities will be unaffected. Analysts say it is likely that Lufthansa will try to settle all claims quickly.