Employers' liability tracing office now live
Health & Safety update 02/06/2011
An online inquiry service designed to help claimants suffering
from a work-related disease or injury find the insurer of their
former employer is now live.
In February, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced
new regulations requiring insurers to publish data on EL policies
and all new claims made against them by no later than 1 July 2011.
A further requirement to collect additional data, such as
subsidiary company information and employer reference numbers,
comes into force from April next year.
Under the previous voluntary code of practice, which was
originally set up in 1999, insurers were given details by the
claimant or representative and were asked to search their records,
but this approach did not provide an immediate result.
The new Employers Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) will maintain
an electronic database containing all new and renewed EL insurance
policies from April this year, older policies that have new claims
made against them and policies that were identified through the
previous code of practice.
The results of a search will be available immediately, but in
cases where no result is returned, details of the query will be
sent to each insurance company to check their own records for older
policies. Any policies subsequently traced will then also be
uploaded on the database.
Following the announcement of the FSA rules, Nick Starling,
director-general –insurance and health at the Association of
British Insurers (ABI), said, "The FSA's regulations will improve
the current situation for both lawyers and claimants, as all
insurers will now be required to publish their data, making any
search much more thorough. We welcome this move to help speed up
the process for claimants and lawyers to identify the holder of
their EL policy. The inclusion of new information, such as
the employer reference number – sometimes called the PAYE number –
should also increase the amount of successful searches for EL
policies and help claimants to start their claim process much
Insurers that are registered ELTO members will be audited to
ensure they are uploading the correct information to the database
within a given timescale, and that they are checking their policy
records for searches that don't provide any results from the