Some of Britain's biggest and most influential insurance groups have been in talks with the government about plans to create a state-backed fund to help meet claims lodged in the future about industrial diseases.
The Times newspaper learnt last week that the insurance industry is keen to avoid another bill similar to the £10 billion that asbetosis claims will cost them over the next ten years.
The talks are being held with the Department for Work and Pensions but several other government departments are said to be tracking the outcome closely.
If it ends as the insurers want it to, the debate will see the establishment of a government-backed 'industrial disease fund' to supplement pay-outs for workplace-related diseases - some of which have not yet been discovered.
These may be related to employers' liability insurance or employees' own life insurance. Click here to find out more about insurance.
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