Insurers account of losses due to composite panels unsubstantiated, risk managers say

Airmic will examine insurance claims involving composite panels to prove that the losses are not as great as insurers suggest.

Airmic food and distribution industry forum chairman Derek Mason said reports of loss ratios of 500% were "unsubstantiated".

He said that the "lack of published claims statistics" was not helping at a time when property underwriters are reluctant to look at food property risks featuring composite panels.

In order to investigate fire claims, Mason has requested details of all UK food industry fires over the past ten years from the Fire Safety Advisory Board.

He plans to match property damage and business interruption claims figures to each fire, in order to quantify the cost of fire-related losses to the insurance industry over the past ten years.

"I just want some transparency in the whole thing," he said. "It will reveal that our loss experience is not as bad as the insurance industry says it is."

Mason said he had raised the need for accurate industry statistics with the ABI, but the two bodies are not working together on the project.

An ABI spokesman said that the ABI is doing its own research into composite panels which will culminate in the release of a guidance paper on the use of composite panels for its members by the end of May.

It will also run seminars on composite panels in May and June.