In a first-ever such development, an under-production Sukhoi jet,manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL),that recently crashed during its test flight in Maharashtra's Nashik ,has triggered insurance claims of around Rs 270 crore to be paid by a clutch of reinsurers led by GIC Re and sole insurer New India Assurance(NIA). ‘
The Sukhoi Su-30MKI twinjet multirole air superiority fighter of HAL,awaiting induction in the Indian Air Force had crashed around 25 km from Nashik, shortly after taking off from the HAL airstrip near the city
There were no human casualties as both the pilots ejected safely before the plane, which was on a routine sortie, hit ground near a grape farm. Some farm labourers working in the field where the aircraft crashed, were injured after being hit by splinters and were admitted to the rural hospital at Pimpalgaon.
Though, the defense and military projects and materials are not insured, HAL has insured the Sukhois as they are under-production stage and these jets are yet to be inducted in Indian Air Force, said a NIA official.
Out of Rs 273 crore,that the HAL has claimed for the crashed Sukhoi, Rs 258 crore is for the fighter aircraft and rest are to be paid to the third parties affected by the crash.
Though the total exposure of the NIA for the crashed Sukhoi is at around Rs 20.43 crore, the net losses for the largest domestic general insurer’s will be around Rs 13.71 crore as rest will be paid by the reinsurers.
“We have pressed into services of Mclaren for the survey and they have already submitted the preliminary report.We are waiting for the final report,” said a NIA official.
The NIA, during 2017-18, is the sole primary insurer for the `under production Sukhoi project’ consisting of 142 aircraft including Tejas and helicopters , with a total sum assured of Rs11,240 crore.
State owned GIC Re is the lead reinsurer for the deal which is shared with other reinsurers in the international markets.
The HAL has paid a premium of around Rs 18-19 crore during the year and may have to shell out 20 per cent higher premium next year due to the Nashik claim.
“It will all depend on the quantum of rise in the reinsurance premium next year,’’ said the NIA official..
There is no broker involved in the deal.
The crashed Sukhoi was the first of the batch produced at the Aircraft Manufacturing Division at HAL Nashik this year and was about to be inducted into the IAF.
Before induction, such aircraft are flown by either HAL pilots or IAF pilots under deputation with HAL.
Normally, around 12 aircraft for a new squadron are manufactured and each aircraft, worth over Rs 300 crore, has a manufacturing cycle of around 3 years.
The Sukhoi Su-30 is a Russian-made, twin-engine fighter meant for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. The first of the Su-30 planes were inducted by the IAF in the late 1990s. Since then, at least six crashes have taken place most of them attributed to technical failure but there have been no insurance claims in the past as they, as a part of Indian defense programme, were all uninsured.
Meanwhile, in another claim settlement incident, involving an aircraft of US-Bangla Airlines, GIC Re has paid around $ 2 million for its share of the reinsurance cover of the airline.
At least 50 people were killed and 22 injured when a passenger plane of the US-Bangla Airlines crash-landed and exploded into a ball of flame at the TribhuvanInternational Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu.