Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hong Kong: Hostage victims to receive insurance compensation

The families of four of the victims killed in Monday's bloody hostage crisis in Manila will receive compensation totaling up to HK$1,320,000 (US$170,000) for each victim. The sum comprises a HK$300,000 payout from the insurer of the Hong Kong-organised tour they had been travelling on, a HK$20,000 gratuity from the Hong Kong government, as well as an extra HK$1 million because the four had bought travel insurance from Chartis through the travel agency, Hong Thai, for the tour. The next of kin of the other four dead victims will receive up to HK$320,000 for each victim.

Chartis Vice President, Mr Wong Fu-tat, said at a press conference that as the incident was a special case, "the level of compensation for victims has been doubled from HK$500,000 to HK$1 million, under insurance covering accidents caused by public transport". The insurer will also help with the cost of bringing the remains of the dead to Hong Kong.

Mr Wong adds that the injured stand to receive up to HK$1 million in medical insurance benefits. Chartis will also provide them with cover of up to HK$100,000 for six months of follow-up medical treatment in Hong Kong.

Separately, the Manila Bulletin newspaper reports that the victims of the hostage-taking crisis will receive insurance benefits from the Passenger Accident Management and Insurance (PAMI) Agency as the bus that carried the tourists is insured by the agency.

Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) officer-in-charge Assistant Secretary, Dante Lantin, said: "The families of the dead victims of the hostage are entitled to at least PHP60,000 (US$1,318) insurance claims each. As for the injured passengers, PAMI has committed to shoulder part of their hospital expenses," he said. Apart from the eight Hong Kong tourists killed, the hostage-taker himself, former police officer Rolando Mendoza, was shot dead. At least seven others were injured in the incident.

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