A landmark ruling in the US this week, in which a man became the first person ever to receive a compensation payout from a tobacco company, is unlikely to have a knock-on effect for the UK insurance industry, say analysts.
Grady Carter, a 70-year-old ex-smoker who has had a cancerous lung removed, received $1.1m (£0.76m) from Brown & Williamson Tobacco, as a full payment plus interest on a 1995 jury award of £750,000.
Carter was one of a group of smokers to sue tobacco companies who were found guilty of knowingly selling products that caused illness to users.
Tony Silverman, chief European insurance analyst at Credit Lyonnais Securities, said that the UK insurance industry was only likely to be hit by claims if the US tobacco companies claimed on their product liability insurance.
However, he added that both sides were deadlocked, as insurers could use their health insurance arms to counter-claim against cigarette firms for selling a product that is injurious to people's health.
“The stand-off between insurers and tobacco companies is likely to go on for years,” he said.