Insurers to go ahead with EL claims pilots despite TUC pull-out

The decision of the TUC to withdraw from the government's EL claims pilots will not stop insurers from piloting ways of reducing the cost of claims, vowed insurers.

AXA claims director David Williams called on the industry to move the process forward, in spite of the TUC's decision.

"Lets see if we can pursue the principles of what we were trying to do either individually or try to get the ABI or the [Department for Work and Pensions] to take it forward."

A spokesman for Norwich Union said it will "press ahead with the pilots" at sites that are non-unionised.

ABI liability policy adviser Alistair Kinley urged the DWP to see if the pilots were salvageable, but if not there "could be scope for an industry initiative".

A spokeswoman for the TUC confirmed that a letter dated 17 February had been sent to the DWP stating the decision to withdraw from the pilots.

The TUC's two concerns were the £10,000 limit for claims, which it felt was too high, and the lack of a requirement for claimants to have received legal advice before accepting an insurer's offer.

Zurich UK technical claims manager Steve Thomas said he was "surprised and disappointed" at the decision. He said other stakeholders had never been given the opportunity to try to resolve the TUC's objections.

The DWP said if the TUC had told it that it did not want to take part, the DWP would need to look at its approach again.