Asbestos rules 'could send insurance costs rocketing'

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The Independent Online

Companies could be landed with huge increases in their insurance costs if they fail to comply with new regulations for monitoring asbestos in buildings, a leading insurance broker, Alexander Forbes, has warned.

Companies could be landed with huge increases in their insurance costs if they fail to comply with new regulations for monitoring asbestos in buildings, a leading insurance broker, Alexander Forbes, has warned.

Asbestos-related incidents are already specifically excluded from 90 per cent of public liability insurance policies, but unless companies comply with new regulations, insurance companies could recover payments for claims relating to asbestos from employers' liability cover. Premiums for employers' liability insurance have rocketed in recent years and some companies have seen premiums triple in a year. New asbestos claims could increase premiums further. "Tenants and property owners need to be aware of the risks they face," Peter Gordon, of Alexander Forbes, said. "If an employee makes a claim against a company that has not complied with the new legislation, underwriters may reclaim their payments for asbestos-related incidents from company funds."

Legislation coming into effect in May will require commercial property owners to manage or remove asbestos from buildings. There are 1.5 million workplace properties that contain asbestos in the UK and asbestos-related diseases are the biggest work-related killer in the UK.

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