Egypt balloon tragedy

Families may sue insurers who say Egypt victims not covered

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 March, 2013, 4:29am

Families of the balloon crash victims who bought travel cover from China Merchants Insurance that excludes them from compensation are considering suing the company, a unionist who is assisting them said.

Roy Cheung Wai-leung, chairman of the Hong Kong Insurance Practitioners General Union, said his organisation was so far assisting the families of four of the six victims affected.

Together with help from Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Kwok Wai-keung, Cheung said the families would detail their demands this morning.

Cheung said that although the insurance contracts did state they do not cover "aerial activities", it does not give any definition.

He said if the company failed to pay out compensation then the families would consider taking the company to court.

"But the families have not made a decision yet," he added.

The Egyptian balloon company, Sky Cruise, has said that it would pay about HK$500,000 compensation for each of the 19 tourists killed after a sightseeing trip over Luxor ended in tragedy two weeks ago. Nine of the victims, five women and four men, came from Hong Kong.

However, Cheung said that, as far as he knows, the company has not got in touch with the families he is assisting.

Meanwhile, Kwok said the families also hope Kuoni Travel, the agency that arranged the 10-day trip to Egypt, would offer a sum of compensation.

Three of the Hong Kong victims had bought insurance from Generali through Kuoni which did cover ballooning.

Kuoni said earlier that the insurance package offered by Generali included a maximum payout of HK$500,000 for accidental death.