Specialist insurer Markel UK has rolled out a new liability product designed to fulfill the specific demands of the rapidly growing UK biomedical and life sciences sector.

The sector, which is expected to see strong growth, with £5bn being invested annually in pharmaceutical research and development alone, offers an attractive business proposition for insurance firms.

The biomedical and life sciences policy will provide tailored insurance services to SME companies including pharma, biotechnology, medical device, dietary supplement, medical food, laboratory instruments and equipment industries, operating in the UK market.

The new policy will offer coverage against various liability exposures, such as injury and property damage, financial loss, clinical trials, employers’ liability, entity defence and directors’ and officers’ liability.

The company said that the policy will be extended to include property and business interruption covers, early next year.

Markel UK retail division divisional managing director Simon Fell said that the life sciences sector has been one of the UK’s success stories generating £50bn of turnover annually.

"We found that although 90% of companies in the sector are SMEs, the insurance protection offered to them is often designed for the needs of multi-national businesses.

"As SME liability specialists we have designed our new policy to meet the specific needs of these small to medium, fast growing businesses," Fell added.