Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) has called on insurers and risk managers to share loss data in order to improve risk management and reduce claims costs.

Speaking at the Airmic conference, R&SA risk solutions director Jon Woodman said the industry should create an independent database of loss and near-loss data.

Woodman criticised the industry's current pattern of loss-data sharing, saying the industry's approach was "disjointed, short-term, and poorly thought through".

He added: "If the industry wants a reputation to rival banks and financial services we need to share knowledge."

The proposed database would include information such as cause, date and time of loss, estimates, final costs, and users' lines of business, Woodman said.

Users would be able to update and search for information online.

Woodman said the data would be supplied on an anonymous basis and be entered into an industry-wide framework, accessible to those who contributed information.

He said Airmic had responded well to the idea and that he would be seeking to hold discussions with both Airmic and the ABI.

An ABI spokesman said the ABI would be open to holding discussions on the idea, although he warned that databases take "quite a lot of time and effort and are not cheap".