A study by the London office of Credit Suisse First Boston reports that claims from asbestos related illnesses are expected to cost U.K. insurers around $1.75 billion over the next 40 years.
The estimate takes into account the recent court decision, which permitted claims to be filed by persons suffering from asbestos related illness, even though they could not prove with certainty where they may have contracted the disease in the course of their employment (See IJ Website May 17)
While fairly substantial by UK standards, the amount is insignificant in comparison to recent settlements concluded in the U.S., a direct result of the differing rules on compensation in the two countries.
The report noted that Zurich Financial, Royal & Sun Alliance and France’s AXA had the largest exposures, but were fully capable of meeting the claims.
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