Novel Nanomaterials in Switzerland and in the European Context: Are Liability Regulation and Insurers ready?
Journal article by Rachel Liechti /Georg Karlaganis NCCR Trade Regulation, Bern in HAVE Haftpflicht und Versicherung, Volume 1, 14 – 27, 2015, Schulthess Verlag Zürich
Due to a lack of test data, it is uncertain whether many commercial products containing synthetic nanomaterials are dangerous or represent a substantial risk. Concerning other products, it is merely uncertain how long the latency phase will last before late injuries in persons previously exposed arise. These uncertainties pose a major challenge for legislators and the insurance industry. This contribution postulates that liability and insurance can play an important pioneering role in the regulation of nanomaterials. Insurance arrangements could, for example, be made conditional to compliance with voluntary measures. The introduction of a mandatory duty to declare nanomaterials would increase transparency, which would be beneficial to employees, consumers and the insurance industry. Moreover, it is necessary to implement the lessons learned from the experience with late damages of asbestos victims in legislation.