Pleural plaque bill criticised by insurers

The Scotsman for 7 July 2008 contained an article by Nick Starling of the Association of British Insurers criticising the Scottish Government's Damages (Asbestosis Related Conditions) Bill, launched last month.

The Bill provides for compensation to be payable to persons with certain asbestos-related conditions including pleural plaques.  It is accepted that in themselves these conditions are not harms, although they may indicate that the carrier could later develop more serious conditions such as mesothelioma.

Mr Starling argues that if the Bill's principles are accepted it may open up a range of claims for "exposure only" conditions, "with severe cost implications for employers, former employers, government, and insurers".  He also suggests that the legislation gives carriers mixed messages, implying that pleural plaques inevitably connote future ill-health (which is not the case).