Cox Insurance and insurance service provider Freeserve have formed an alliance to offer a range of general insurance services over the internet.

The two companies have created a new brand, InsuranceCity.com, which will primarily target Freeserve's 1.32m customers, but can also be accessed by other internet users.

The newly-formed brand will sit on the Freeserve home page.

The first products to go on-line will be motor, home and travel insurance. These will be available to internet users from November, with other products and services following at a later date.

Cox's retail division chief executive Neil Utley said that expansion of the range products on offer would depend on the public's response to the first phase.

"It is our aim to offer the broadest range of insurance products available on the internet and we plan to extend our products to create a full insurance service," said Utley.

He added that Cox had been working on "completely re-hashing and re-engineering" products for the new medium since January.

Utley said: "The service will be very transactional. People will be able to renew policies, change policies, report claims and buy insurance."

Mid-term adjustments will also become possible, although not immediately.

"The development of products and services will depend on what people want. By using InsuranceCity.com, people will be able to tell us what they want," said Utley.

John Pluthero who is chief executive officer of Freeserve said: "We are confident that this service will offer the insurance-buying public with the broadest range and most competitive quotations for insruance available on the internet."

Cox's Neil Utley was keen to stress that the development of the site would not detract from the firm's support of brokers.

He said: "This move isn't about moving to the internet at the expense of anything else. In no way are we detracting from our broker business."

However, some brokers expressed surprise that Cox Insurance is the insurance provider behind the venture.

Terry Reed, BIBA regional committee chairman for Anglia and Northern Home Counties, said: "I was surprised to see the name Cox Insurance behind it. I would have expected to see another insurer's name, but not Cox."