Bristol-based broker Ultraviolet has launched a personal accident policy which covers people infected by anthrax.

The policy, which is underwritten by a consortium of London Market insurers, offers £100,000 of cover for customers who are killed or permanently injured by the disease.

Broking director Simon Burgess said: "This is highly topical and people are genuinely concerned and responding to those concerns.

"This policy highlights the flexibility of the London Market."

Britain is currently preparing to deal with the threat of anthrax being deliberately spread, after a number of office workers in the US were infected after opening letters containing a white powder.

Government officials said any outbreak of anthrax would only affect small numbers of people.