LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwired) -- 05/07/13 -- In the last few years the number of deafness claims made on commercial insurance policies has been rocketing. AXA Business Insurance reports a rise of 162% from 2009-2012 with British businesses ultimately having to foot the bill.
In 2012 alone, AXA saw a year on year rise of 75% in the number of deafness claims and had more claims for deafness than any other type of workplace injury or illness. The company attributes the rise as a primary reason for an overall increase of over 30% in Employer Liability claims.
The insurer is concerned that the rise in claims is being fuelled by compensation lawyers and claims management companies targeting potential claimants. And while there are obviously many genuine claims, the company has also seen evidence of a growing number of fraudulent claims. It believes the trend in these claims has many similarities to the massive rise in personal injury claims among drivers over the last few years.
David Williams, Managing Director, Underwriting, AXA Insurance, says: "The issue for British industry is that, as we have seen with other areas of insurance in the UK, lots of claims inevitably lead to higher premiums in order to cover the cost of payouts. As British business struggles through a prolonged period of recession, the last thing they need is the added expense that this will bring.
"We are very keen to work with British businesses, the rest of the insurance industry and government to put in place effective measures to stop this becoming the next whiplash."
According to HSE statistics, around one million people in Great Britain are exposed to levels of noise that could affect their hearing. Current Control of Noise regulations require all employers to provide protection in any working environment where decibel levels exceed 85.
David Williams concludes: "We would urge employers to be really thorough in ensuring employees are provided with proper protection and that using it correctly is robustly enforced. By doing this they can help us nip this growing problem in the bud before it starts impacting on their bottom line."
Notes to Editors
About AXA Business Insurance
AXA Business Insurance is part of AXA Insurance UK plc, which belongs to the AXA group of companies. With us, you choose the business insurance that's right for you. We offer public liability, employers' liability and professional indemnity insurance online to start ups, sole traders, self-employed people and small businesses. In addition we offer van insurance and landlord insurance. AXA Business Insurance also runs Business Guardian Angel which provides resources to help protect and grow small businesses.
You can follow AXA Business Insurance on Twitter @AXAbizteam, for business insurance help and the latest business news. You'll also find AXA Business Insurance on Google+ and Facebook - and you can watch expert guides and business case studies on the AXA Business Insurance YouTube channel.
The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with more than 163,000 employees serving 102 million clients in 57 countries. In 2012, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 90.1 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 4.3 billion. AXA had Euro 1,116 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2012.
In the UK AXA operates through a number of business units including: AXA Wealth, AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary, AXA Personal Direct and Partnerships, AXA PPP healthcare, AXA Ireland and an independent distribution business Bluefin. AXA employs over 12,000 staff in the UK.
The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 - Bloomberg: CS FP - Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA's American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.
The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.
It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme's Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.
AXA Business Insurance
0208 246 6853 or 07966 549413
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