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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 March 2007, 00:02 GMT
Arson dominating UK firm payouts
Suspected arson at Rolls Royce factory in Derby
Arson is a major threat to firms, Axa has warned
More than half of all money paid out to UK firms in crime-related insurance claims is the result of arson, figures from insurer Axa suggest.

This was despite the crime making up only about 1% of claims by volume.

Axa's research also showed a 20% rise in claim settlements arising from arson in the last three months of 2006 - with Glasgow firms suffering most from it.

In the year as a whole, the number of crime-related insurance claims made by companies rose by a fifth, it said.

The insurer said that crime against businesses, especially small and medium firms, was not taken seriously enough.

'Extremely concerned'

The average claim for arson amounts to about 40,000.

While crime against individuals continues to generate significant column inches, public awareness of business crime remains low
Neil Mercier
Axa

This compares with an average insurance payout for all crimes of just under 4,000.

Axa dubbed Glasgow "the arson capital of the United Kingdom".

It said that 10.6% of all claims settled in the city resulted from the crime - more than double the national average.

While the number of crime-related insurance claims grew by 20%, malicious damage, including vandalism and graffiti, fell by 2% in the period.

"We are extremely concerned that business crime rates across the UK continue to rise," said AXA's head of property, Neil Mercier.

"We are concerned that while crime against individuals continues to generate significant column inches, public awareness of business crime remains low."


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