The ABI this week released guidelines for insurers on the payment of mesothelioma claims which fall within the Fairchild judgment.

The judgment, made by the House of Lords in May 2002, enables employees with mesothelioma, a form of terminal cancer caused by asbestos exposure, to make an employers' liability claim even if they cannot trace the exposure to a particular employer.

The House of Lords ruling left it up to employers and insurers to determine how claims costs are split, and the guidelines deal with the apportionment of such claims.

The guidelines state that the compensation costs will be split between culpable employers, and therefore insurers, in direct proportion to the period the claimant worked for each employer.

In the case that one employer is no longer solvent, the guidelines state that the remaining employers would split the additional cost evenly between them.

In the event that an insurer involved is insolvent, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will assume responsibility for the payment of its part of the claim.

"This is a system that we believe is going to be pragmatic, workable and effective for claimants, employers and insurers alike," an ABI spokesman said. "It in no way impacts on the ability of a person to claim."

The guidelines, which have been formulated by the ABI and employer groups, come into effect on 1 November.

According to figures from the Health & Safety Executive, mesothelioma claims are expected to peak in the UK between 2011 and 2020.