Forensic security company SmartWater is in talks with a major insurer which is considering making its property-marking system mandatory for policyholders.

SmartWater chief executive Philip Cleary said that the discussions were part of a wider push to get insurers to promote the use of its technology.

He claimed that this would reduce theft claims and improve property recovery.

By reducing theft, Cleary said that the technology could improve the risk profile of areas that were previously considered "uninsurable" and, as a result, open up new markets for insurers.

SmartWater can be used on a wide range of both personal and commercial property. "We're talking about the same system being applied to jewellery as to plant equipment," Cleary said.

A number of police forces across the UK have adopted SmartWater technology. Yesterday, the Northern Ireland police announced a plan to use SmartWater to mark property in 80,000 'at risk' homes over the next three years.