Niche software house Ceta this week launched Premium, a new web service to allow brokers and intermediaries to sell insurance online.

The service, which is supported by several insurers including Zurich, NU, NIG and Axa, is free to brokers and links in with their existing websites to provide quotes, proposal forms and underwriting notes.

Managing director David Quick said: "Through Premium every broker and intermediary in the UK will be able to take advantage of the internet and the power of cyberinsurance today.

"They can start selling policies from their own web sites straightaway, seccure in the knowledge that they own the client and the renewals."

Using the system, customers can get comparative quotes and fill in proposal forms online.

Ceta administers the system – including premium collection by direct debit and credit card – with commission paid to brokers.

Ceta is working on the premise that 30% of the UK population has internet access, and claims that by next year, 40% of general insurance will be purchased online.

Initial online products from the software house include household, travel, pet and mortgage protection. Motor and other insurance products will become available within the next few months.

Ceta claims it currently provides free insurance products and PC-based quotation software to more than 3,000 UK brokers.

Quick said: "We made IT central to our business strategy, investing heavily in IT resources, tools and know-how. W believe that being able to develop and support our own software and internet products in house is a key advantage."