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ABI: Insurers committed to asbestos compensation

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The Association of British Insurers has claimed that insurance companies are still committed to compensating asbestos victims despite today’s critical Court of Appeal ruling.

The Court of Appeal overturned a 2008 High Court decision that found the insurers who should pay claims for the fatal asbestos illness, mesothelioma are those that provided cover to the employer at the time of the asbestos exposure. The outcome means that in every case the exact words used in the insurance contract will have to be studied and could leave many victims with no compensation.

Nick Starling, ABI’s director of General Insurance and Health, said: “Active insurers remain committed to paying compensation to all asbestos-related disease claimants as quickly as possible. This is not about insurers versus victims, but about ensuring that claimants and their families receive compensation from the employers’ liability insurer on risk when exposure to asbestos occurred.

“This is the basis on which insurers paid out over £100m to mesothelioma claimants alone in 2009. This action was brought by a small group of companies who no longer write new business against the views of the majority of the UK insurance industry.

He added: “It is regrettable that the judgment in this case could lead to a small number of claimants not getting the compensation they could reasonably expect. The judgment is detailed and complex and our members are studying it closely. We cannot speculate on the outcome of any further appeal.”

Source : Post Online