Two millennium bug insurance policies, which flopped with only one sale, had to be withdrawn before the end of last year.

Personal and Commercial Millennium were launched last August by Composite Legal Expenses to protect against contractual disputes arising from electrical goods malfunctioning because they were not Y2K compliant.

At the time they were believed to be the only policies designed to specifically address the perceived threat posed by the millennium bug.

Composite's managing director John Mullin said the policies were launched on computer disc and accompanied by a strong marketing campaign tied in with the insurer's legal expenses policy.

The insurer even obtained the Government's permission to use its millennium bug logo and became a member of its Action 2000 task force to promote the policy.

However, Mullin said: "The policies achieved a very limited sale – in fact only one was sold – and they were withdrawn in December. But the irony was that the cover was very good."

Mullin believed the policies' poor sales perhaps showed that the public lacked sufficient technical knowledge.

The publicity attracted by the policies has, however, boosted sales of Composite Legal Expenses' new landlord and tenant policy.

Meanwhile, research of news information services by KPMG reveals that there were 67 significant millennium bug failures reported around the world in the first week of 2000.

Only one millennium glitch, which related to a medical devices agency web site, was reported in the UK.

"Most of the world survived January 1 unscathed," said KPMG information risk management partner Malcolm Marshall. "A big fear for the date change was the non-compliant embedded chips. These seem to have been indentified successfully and replaced."

However, he warned that there may still be problems to come, especially with what he termed "DIY systems" developed by business users rather than software engineers and which determine large sums of money – particularly among actuaries and derivative trading operations.