Insurance Companies Expecting More Asbestos Litigation
Decades after exposure, adverse health conditions related to asbestos exposure are continuing to manifest themselves in asbestos victims. Citing additional anticipated asbestos claims and payouts to asbestos exposure victims, Travelers Insurance contributed 25 percent more to its asbestos claim reserves in 2011 than it did in 2010 – following insurance giants AIG and Hartford Financial in the increase.
Because asbestos-related claims steadily decreased between 2003 and 2010, many in the insurance field mistakenly thought that most asbestos litigation was finally behind them- however, 2011 saw a reversal in the trend with more asbestos victims rightfully seeking compensation for their asbestos-related injuries.
During the first half of 2011, insurer MetLife reported an 11 percent increase in claims, Hartford Financial experienced $290 million in asbestos-related losses and AIG paid Berkshire Hathaway $1.65 billion to assume its asbestos risks – all of which illustrates how asbestos-related injuries are far from over.
While asbestos was commonly used as insulation from the 1850s to the 1970s, the severe lung diseases from asbestos exposure often take 30 or more years to exhibit themselves. Though doctors say instances of asbestos-caused diseases are actually decreasing, the aggressive and expensive treatments of these diseases (like mesothelioma) are quite expensive – which only adds to the problems faced by asbestos victims.
In 2002, the actuarial firm Tillinghast-Towers Perrin estimated that the insurance industry would pay out a combined total of $200 billion over the years in order to compensate asbestos victims for their injuries following litigation.
Unfortunately for victims, those suffering from asbestos-related injuries continue to be diagnosed decades later. If you or a loved one is suffering from the symptoms of asbestos-related injuries, contact an experienced attorney to discuss your situation and your options.