The ABI has expanded its guide to the Disability Discrimination Act to cover general insurance.

Around 8.5 million people meet the definition of disability under the Act.

The ABI's previous guide, issued in September 2001, covered life and disability insurances. The revised edition now includes relevant general insurance sectors, including motor, travel, accident sickness and unemployment.

These are affected by the requirements of the 1995 Act. It sets out how insurers should apply the legislation, with case studies and examples. The ABI guide advocates adopting standards of best practice beyond existing legal requirements. The Act comes fully into force in 2004.

The ABI's director general Mary Francis said: " Insurers are committed to meeting the insurance needs of disabled people. This guide not only ensures that companies are fully aware of their legal obligations, but, through developing best practice, that they can also provide the best possible service to disabled people. We are grateful to the many disability groups and others who helped us in producing this guide."