A landmark agreement between the insurance industry, senior police officers and the government on how to deal with major disasters is set to be reached within the next few weeks.
The protocol will set out the insurance industry’s involvement in the aftermath of disasters, such as terrorist attacks or natural catastrophes.
It follows concerns that after major incidents, such as the London bombings on 7 July, insurance industry representatives, such as loss adjusters, had problems obtaining access to the attack site.
Following the flooding in Boscastle only one industry representative was allowed on site, prompting calls for a coordinated approach.
The protocol is expected to set out the process by which the insurance industry is notified after a major incident and provide a mechanism to give insurers access the site of the incident. This might involve appointing a single insurance industry representative.
The ABI, Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (Cila), the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) and the Cabinet Office are involved.
A spokesman for the ABI said the protocol would be a way to coordinate a “joined-up” approach after major incidents. “It will set out provisions for Gold Command [which coordinates the response to major incidents] to notify the ABI within a prescribed time so it can notify members.”
The spokesman added: “It is an important agreement for the industry. It recognises the role of insurers in disaster recovery. It will improve access to the [incident] site and help insurers improve their speed of response to customers.”
Graham Cave executive director of Cila said the protocol would address the commercial interests that need to be protected following an incident. “The government has been concerned with personal injury and security, but not commercial interests.”