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Code red

APIL chief executive Denise Kitchener says the ABI must address employers’ liability in industrial disease claims

31 March 2006

When a voluntary code of practice for tracing compulsory insurance policies was first proposed in 1999, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) said that a voluntary code, without strict sanctions, would have a limited effect on the victims it was designed to help. Seven years and two reviews later, APIL is still extremely concerned about the effectiveness of a code that continues to leave many disease victims without compensation.

Industrial disease victims are at a disadvantage from the outset when claiming compensation, as symptoms of many diseases, such as asbestosis, are not apparent until years after the disease has been contracted. When the victim is eventually diagnosed, his former workplace may have ceased to exist, and any record of insurance lost in the process.

The voluntary code, drawn up by the government, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Non-Marine Association at Lloyd’s, was aimed at helping people trace these old records in ...

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