The Mesothelioma Bill has been creating a steady debate over the past couple of months, largely surrounding the decision to only award claimants who will rely on it, 75% of general damages, instead of the 100% that sufferers who can trace their employer’s insurance companies will receive.
Leading insurer Zurich has given a bit more of an insight into how the insurers view the personal injury sectors calls for 100% damages to be awarded, and why they believe the amount currently agreed in the Mesothelioma Bill should stay the same. It all comes down to fairness.
Is that fairness to the innocent victims who have been diagnosed with asbestos related cancer? In the eyes of the director of Zurich’s technical centre for claims, he thinks it is fair, but no, in truth the answer to that question revolves around what is fair for the insurers.
It seems that all sense of sympathy and understanding is missing from the cold-hearted insurers, as once again when discussing the Mesothelioma Bill.
What is right for the sufferers of this fatal disease, who are being denied compensation for the disease they contracted through no fault of their own, has consistently been denied by the insurers because of the cost it will have on them. Why should their mesothelioma claim be affected?
Remember the only reason the Mesothelioma Bill is necessary is because the records of the insurance company, who would have been forced to pay out damages in the first place, has either been lost or been destroyed.
It is because of this fact that it is even more sickening to hear the insurers complaining about the cost to the industry, which is estimated to be around £451 million in the first 10 years of the scheme, especially when you consider that a lot of the people, who the Bill is designed to help, are sadly unlikely to survive longer than 10 years from diagnosis.
It is this point that the insurers consistently miss when it comes to fatal illnesses such as mesothelioma. Despite what they would like people to believe, they are not the hard done by ones here.
You can’t put a price on a human beings life, which is what the insurance industry are effectively doing when they talk about the cost to them in regards to the Bill.
But what giving victims of this industrial disease the fair amount of compensation, which should be the same as they would receive if they could trace their employer’s insurance company, can do is allow them peace of that their family will be taken care of when they are no longer around and the opportunity to live the best quality of life possible in their final years.
As usual the insurers were quick to use their favourite ransom line to try and keep the government firmly tucked away in their profit lined pockets.
Phillipa Craven, who is a partner at insurance and reinsurance specialists Kennedys, said in an article in the Post Magazine: “The government must consider what will happen to UK companies if it tries to eke more out of the insurers.
“The policy holders will end up paying more as these costs are passed on to them.”
Once again the real sufferers, the victims of mesothelioma, take second fiddle when it comes to the insurers talking about fairness and as with most of the reforms that the insurance industry has lobbied for, the real sufferers are the ones who are set to miss out.