Asda is pumping millions of pounds into a nationwide advertising and marketing campaign in a challenge to Tesco's crown as the top supermarket general insurance provider.

The supermarket chain, owned by US giant Wal-Mart, is currently piloting a television advert in Scotland which it intends to roll out across the UK later this year.

Asda said it believed the TV adverts, combined with a radio and newspaper campaign, will help it to pick up 500,000 policyholders over the next three to five years.

Under an extended contract signed last week, Norwich Union will continue to provide motor, travel and household insurance for Asda until 2009.

Asda has also signed a deal with affinity broker BDML Connect to arrange cover for customers that Norwich Union is not prepared to underwrite.

Kay Martin, head of Asda Insurance for Norwich Union, said: "Over 11 million customers pass through Asda's doors every week and we want to take advantage of that by raising awareness of our insurance offering.

"The Asda brand represents quality and good value and that is why I am sure we will be competing with the likes of Tesco soon."