Royal & Sunalliance (RSA) is predicting that the introduction of a new palm-top auditing system for damage assessments will increase productivity by up to 20%.

RSA has become the first major motor insurer in Europe to introduce Audatex's new automated estimate review tool to its 400 bodyshop partners, after a successful pilot project in north-west England.

Repair management system supplier Audatex developed Auda Audit for the UK repairer market from the Claims Flow Passport system used by its parent ADP in the US.

The system will enable RSA engineers, who carry out up to 300,000 inspections each year, to check that labour rates and parts meet with criteria pre-selected by the insurer.

Trevor Davies, group motor engineers manager at RSA, said the system would speed up claims handling, provide faster repair authorisations and reduce hire car costs.

“In terms of pure operational costs, we are expecting a 20% increase in productivity,” he said.

Davies added: “The system will allow our engineers to shift their focus from strictly cost control to managing the quality of repairs.”

Paul Tucker, managing director of Audatex, said: “With Auda Audit we are confident that RSA, its partners and its customers, will benefit from faster, more efficient processes.”