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CIC ’s Liability Panel has issued a new Liability Alert.

Posted: 21st October 2004

CIC ’s Liability Panel has issued a new Liability Alert. This looks at the very restricted indemnity insurance cover that can be obtained by consultants for asbestos-related claims in the current-market.

Asbestos-related risks are now excluded from virtually all professional indemnity (PI) insurance policies. It may be possible for some consultants to buy back some cover (limited both in amount and the risks covered) but it is likely to be expensive.

This is due in part to the hard insurance market which has seen insurers limiting PI cover generally. Insurers are though particularly shy of asbestos related claims because of the extraordinary level of personal injury claims – past, present and expected in the future – arising out of the presence of asbestos (primarily in the United States, but elsewhere too). This has led to reinsurers refusing to cover such risks. With no reinsurance behind them, primary insurers can only offer limited cover.

This will affect all consultants, not just those expressly engaged to undertake asbestos inspections, surveys or reviews (under Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002, which came into force in May 2004, for example); any consultant may come across problems with asbestos in the course of their work