Lessons Learned from Lost Malaysian Flight

Travel background with mechanical departures board and airline.After handling claims for just on forty-three years, I know there are always lessons to be learned or basic risk management measures that need to be revisited after every matter, just in case “it” happens. There will no doubt be a number of lessons learned (or should that be “earned”?) that will come out of the tragic disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370.

One of the first follows the news that one company in the technology sector, Freescale Semiconductor, is reported to have  lost twenty of their senior staff in this event. No matter how large the organisation is, to lose that much talent at the one time is surely going to have a negative effect and the company itself is reportedly saying as much.

In our own company, we have a limit of four staff per flight and, being a family company, we are anxious not to have all the family on the one flight, or bus for that matter at the one time. We do this not so much for the family’s sake for, if we were all to perish then our worries are over. We do it as we owe it to our staff and customers to have someone who can immediately step in and make decisions to ensure the company remains focused and viable.

Most Corporate Travel policies, but not all, have a warranty, condition or the like that limits the number of staff on the one flight. Often this is five people. This not only protects the company from a catastrophic loss of staff in the one event, it goes some way to ensure the maximum death benefit payable under the policy is a reasonable amount per person.

The purpose of this posting is to recommend that you review or create your own risk management strategy for travel and to look at the coverage and limitations of your Corporate Travel Insurance policy. If you do not have the cover, please speak with your insurance broker. The cover is surprisingly affordable and with coverage for hire car deductibles included, the investment is often more than paid for by the savings in buy down excess fees on hire car charges. It certainly is for LMI. For those that have access to LMI PolicyComparison, a reminder that the site includes comparisons on Corporate and Business Travel policies for the following insurers.

PCI travel

With multiple airline carriers to most parts of the world, it is only in the rarest of circumstances, that the “no more than four person per flight” rule is an inconvenience.

While I appreciate that air travel remains an extremely safe method of travel, “it” can happen at any time and as I explain in my lectures on risk management, there are many ways to treat risk, risk should never be ignored. I certainly wished I had a $1 for every time a claimant has said to me: “I never thought ‘it’ would happen to me!” In fact I heard it so often I used the line as the title of my thesis into business survival following a major insured loss.

While we wait to see what other lessons learned come out of this, my heart naturally goes out to all those that lost loved ones and are going through so much stress wondering  just what happened.


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