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December 17, 2009

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Compensation-fund call intensifies

More workplace-injury and ill-health compensation claimants were

successful in tracing their former employer’s insurer in 2008 than at

any time since the insurance industry’s Code of Practice for tracking

employers’ liability insurance (EL) policies was created in 1999.

Despite the successful trace rate improving from 35 per cent in 2006-07 to 45 per cent in 2008, the latest independent review of the voluntary Code says more needs to be done to improve tracing rates.

The Government is in talks with the Association of British Insurers to develop proposals for the creation of a searchable electronic database of EL policies but acknowledges that it may still be difficult to trace historic policies, especially for those suffering from long-tail diseases, such as mesothelioma.

The Government is currently considering how to improve support for these individuals, including the introduction of an Employers’ Liability Insurance Bureau, which is called for by, among others, the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).

Following the publication of the review, APIL president John McQuater said: “The need for an ELIB has never been more urgent. Year after year we have seen the ABI’s voluntary tracing code fail. Something else must now, surely, be put in place.”

The review can be found by clicking here.

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