Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) has cut up to 18% off the average settled cost of claims for some classes of business through its claims transformation programme.

According to director of claims Rod Kitchen the insurer has seen dramatic reductions in the costs of asbestos settlements (down 18%) and household claims such as subsidence (down 15%).

He said: "We have a much better understanding of what a claim is worth.

"This does not necessarily mean that the customer is getting less but just that they are getting appropriate settlements and we are reducing leakage."

R&SA's claims transformation programme involves the integration of 16 legacy systems into one main 'claims components' system developed in partnership with Accenture.

The system has also resulted in the reduction in a number of claims offices in the UK and a reselection process for 2,500 claims jobs within the company.

Kitchen also confirmed that some claims jobs, mostly within first notice of loss and simple recovery, would be part of the off-shoring programme announced by R&SA in November.