UK companies that buy machinery in Europe could be over-insuring their plant and machinery assets, international property consultants Edward Rushton have said.

Companies generally increase the value of their plant and machinery by around 5% in their annual insurance renewals, to cover fluctuations in ex-change rates, inflation and technology.

But an Edward Rushton spokesman said machinery that cost £1m in 1995 would have suffered an 8.4% reduction in value if bought in Switzerland, a 15% fall if German and a 13% drop if French.