Real time claims processing - a pipe dream for many insurers and loss adjusters - has become a reality for Allied Carpets' home consultants.

Mobile computers now allow a policyholder's claim to be filed and a new carpet chosen in their own home in just 20 minutes, according to Allied Carpets.

The scheme is thought to be the first of its kind within the insurer / retailer sector and Allied Carpets said it is cutting claims processing time significantly.

A company spokesperson said: "The old paper-based system meant that an insurance claims report took a fortnight to prepare and, although moving to an intranet reduced that time, it was still a matter of days. However Allied Carpets consultants can now file reports from customers' homes in less than 20 minutes."

The system runs on Siemens SIMpads connected via the Bluetooth wireless link to Sony Ericsson handsets. Allied Carpets says it will enable up to 400 more home visits per day.