Zurich Personal Insurances has launched an online quotation service that can be customised by brokers.

Called Quotes Online, the free quote engine is web-based and can be accessed by Zurich's agents. According to the company, more than 100 brokers have signed up to the service.

Zurich's e-commerce web development consultant, Steve Redding, said: “We decided to create this system after we received a lot of requests from brokers for a decent system. Most brokers couldn't afford the software bills to build their own service.”

He said Zurich had decided to allow individual brokers to brand the service with the company's own logos and tailor the system, because many businesses relied on heritage as their major asset.

“A number of agents said they needed their own logo on the service because the logo drives the business,” said Redding.

Brokers have two options when accessing the site. They can either log into the service, type in the details, receive an immediate quote and buy from Zurich online.

The alternative is to have the software loaded onto the broker's front-end system, which allows its customers to go to them and use the quote engine as if it were the broker's own system.

The rates and underwriting are controlled through a ProductWriter system, which means they can be updated in “real time”, enhancing competitiveness.

Redding said both versions were being used on a fairly “50-50 split” and Zurich would be making an “on-going investment” in the service.