Chinese insurance companies have started to pay compensation to the families of passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines plane presumed crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
China Life, the country's largest insurance company, has provided the families of seven passengers with a total compensation of 4.17 million yuan (NZ$770,600), Chen Honghao, an official from China Life's department of planning said.
China Life had 32 clients on the flight and estimates its total compensation would be 8.94 million yuan (NZ$1.66m), Chen said.
Flight MH370 is believed to have crashed with the loss of all 239 people aboard after flying thousands of miles off course on March 8 during a routine flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
More than 150 of the passengers were Chinese.
Shanghai-based China Pacific Insurance Co., Ltd. compensated the family members of one of its clients with 525,000 yuan (NZ$97,000) on Wednesday, Yan Liping, an executive from the firm's branding division, said in an emailed statement.
China Pacific Insurance estimates that it will have to pay out a total of 4.04 million yuan (NZ$750,000) to the families of 12 clients on the flight, Yan said.
New China Life Insurance Co. Ltd. will compensate the families of nine clients on board the flight with a total of about 1 million yuan (NZ$190,000), Zhang Hongxia, a public relations official from the firm, said on Thursday.
Sunshine Insurance will provide 500,000 yuan (NZ$93,000) in compensation for the family of one of its clients, a woman surnamed Zhang from the firm said on Thursday.