Relatives of asbestos victims won a landmark victory in the Supreme Court last week.
Thousands of new claims can now be made after judges ruled that liability was triggered when workers were exposed to asbestos dust, not when the symptoms emerged.
It means families of workers who died of asbestos‑related cancer can claim on policies dating back to the 1940s.
The Unite union had launched a legal challenge on behalf of the family of Charles O’Farrell, who died of asbestos cancer mesothelioma aged 81 in 2003.
In Britain around 2,000 people die of asbestos-related cancers every year.