Insurer sets out to regain lost market share with stronger inspection arm

Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) has issued a warning to rivals in the engineering sector that it is looking to regain the market share it has lost in recent years.

David Smith, director of engineering and risk control, said the insurer was looking to achieve double-digit growth in its engineering inspection and insurance business over the next three years.

He admitted: "We haven't been pulling our weight. Our service hasn't been fantastic and we have ceded market share to our competitors over the past few years.

"But we will be back. We are looking to strengthen both inspection and insurance arms."

R&SA is one of the leading engineering insurance and inspection providers in the UK, along with Zurich and Allianz Cornhill Engineering.

It is understood that R&SA's inspection business was worth about £50m in 2003, giving the company a leading 30% share of the market at the time.

The company, however, declined to give details of the current size of its business in either the inspection and insurance market.

Smith said the insurer would continue to increase its number of engineering inspectors in 2006 in a bid to improve service levels.

He said: "We have employed 60 inspectors this year. We will employ 19 more over the next couple of months and we will continue recruitment over 2006."

He also said the company would be looking to grow through cross-selling to the insurer's existing customers in addition to winning back old customers.

"We will not be competing on price we will be looking at service quality."