The ABI will not support payments to encourage suspected victims of pleural plaques to be tested, it said this week.

Justin Jacobs, the association’s head of property, motor and liability, said that there were no grounds for payments of up to £1,500 to be made to suspected victims.

He said medical experts in the courts established last month that there was no causal link between pleural plaques and the development of mesothelioma.

He was responding to comments made by Michael Clapham, MP for Barnsley West and Penistone, who said that if insurers paid between £1,000 and £1,500 to suspected victims, it would help them come forward to be tested.

Clapham, who has put forward an early day motion to overturn the recent legal ruling, said: “We are not talking about a lot of money for insurers but this would help.

“If there are going to be no pleural plaque cases going into court then [insurers] will save millions and therefore ought to be on board with this.”

Clapham previously held failed talks with the Justice Minister demanding the government overturn the House of Lords ruling that pleural plaques were not sufficient grounds for compensation.

He called for the compilation of a register with details of those diagnosed, their insurers and employers.

But Jacobs said: “I can’t see why it is in people’s interest to be tested for plaques.”

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