Vehicle salvage company Universal Salvage has launched a new service for insurers that is intended to speed up the processing of total loss claims.

The service called Engineering Services also reduces inspection and handling costs and accelerates claims settlements.

Motor insurer Equity Red Star has successfully used the service for several months in a pilot scheme.

The operation is now being rolled out nationally to cover all car, motorcycle and commercial vehicle claims.

Equity Red Star head of claims Fergus Curran said: "The trials have been successful and the service is hassle-free from inspection to disposal. The system has reduced our direct costs."

Universal Salvage commercial director John Dearman said inspections alone cost the UK insurance industry around £17m per year.

The Engineering Services system is claimed to enable full customisation of contracts. It has straightforward consistent vehicle categorisation, in accordance with the Association of British Insurers' (ABI) code of practice, and a full accident damage report, which includes categorisation, production of images and an estimated cost of repair.