Insurer says move will lead to 'fairer' risk rating

Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) has launched a tool that can assess the threat of crime against businesses right down to an individual property.

The insurer said that for the first time commercial properties would be given a "fairer" risk rating against the probability of burglary, break-in, theft or forced entry.

According to R&SA, the tool puts nearly one in 10 commercial properties in the UK at a high risk from crime.

Properties such as the House of Commons are rated as high risk, while the Trafford centre in Manchester and the Bluewater shopping centre are low risk.

The system uses data from a variety of sources to produce the risk of crime rating, including socio-economic characteristics, patterns of crime in urban areas and along primary transport corridors, and the company's own crime claim frequency.

"Once a property has been identified as high or an extreme crime risk, we can deploy our team of risk management experts to help the business undertake appropriate security measures to reduce that risk," Graham Heale, R&SA property underwriting director, said.

The instrument is the latest addition to R&SA's Geographical Risk Assessment (GRA) tool, which already assesses flood, subsidence and arson risks for commercial properties across Britain.

Heale added: "By using the technology of the GRA tool to pinpoint the level of risk, we can charge each customer an accurate price based on the individual level of risk they face. Customers in a low risk property will therefore not be subsidising those in a higher risk property."