I am delighted to hear that the insurance industry and the government appear to have agreed a rescue package for people caught up in the Chester Street InsuranceHoldings debacle.

This is marvellous news for all the people who have suffered months of misery while the insurance industry has prevaricated over its responsibilities in this mess.

But, as always, the devil will be in the detail, and there has been precious little information provided about exactly how the scheme is going to work. It is vital to ensure that the remedy is a comprehensive one which cannot be unpicked, and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) will remain vigilant to ensure this does not happen.

We've been conducting a survey of our members to try to more clearly establish the scale of the problem. Although we have not yet completed the analysis of our statistics, early indications suggest there are a huge number of people affected, and it is crucial that the “pot” is big enough to ensure nobody is left out in the cold.

Plan to protect
The plan to set up a new Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) to protect people from such problems in the future is something APIL has campaigned for. While we applaud the creation of the FSCS, we have to acknowledge that, again, we have seen very little detail about how it will work.

We will need much more information before we can be sure that the new organisation really will act as the “insurer of last resort” for which we have been calling and which victims of this kind of situation desperately need.

  • Frances McCarthy is the president of APIL.