Allianz Cornhill is spearheading a campaign to reduce the cost of construction equipment theft.

The insurer is offering lower premiums to encourage construction companies to take the problem seriously and register equipment.

More than £70m of construction plant is stolen every year, at a cost of £800m.

Thieves are attracted to plant because of low recovery rates. Less than 10% of vehicles are recovered compared with between 55% and 60% of motor vehicles.

Allianz Cornhill engineering division underwriting and operations manager Martin Ball said: "Construction

companies can register equipment with the national plant and equipment register.

"We are telling insureds their own premiums may go down if they are registered."

Ball said the big costs associated with plant theft could worsen if the market took a downturn.