AXA is understood to have won the lucrative tender to underwrite Lloyds TSB's travel book for the next three years.

The French insurer is believed to have poached the account from Genworth in a beauty parade that also included AIG and UKI Partnerships.

The Lloyds TSB account is one of the largest travel books in the market with over two million policyholders and a premium value of around £20m per year.

The cover is sold either through Lloyd's TSB as a stand-alone product, or is bundled in with its bank accounts.

Neither Lloyds TSB nor AXA would comment on the deal.

Web roll-out for commercial covers
Lloyds TSB Insurance is to take the next step in its drive into the SME market this month with the roll-out of its internet sales portal.

Phil Loney, managing director, said that by December there would be a "fully Lloyds TSB-branded site in place for a selection of trades".

At present, businesses seeking cover are referred to a call centre operated by AXA, which underwrites the bank's commercial policies.

Lloyds TSB began its SME push nine months ago. Loney said that he was "pleased" with the results so far. He added: "We will be increasing our marketing spend."