Insurance giant Axa is two weeks from a soft launch of a new website to sell motor insurance.

The site will form a key component of Axa's new financial services portal that is due to be up and running by year-end when Axa will gear up its marketing activities.

Technology for the site has been developed by software giant Sun Microsystems and integrates into the Axa's back office.

“We want to ease this gently into the market,” a spokesman for the insurer said. “While there is an advantage in being first, there is also an advantage in having a fully-integrated approach.”

The site will link up to Axa's own call centre operation and features an email service that offers customers a guaranteed response time.