Direct Line is spearheading a campaign to grab market share in the online home, travel and motor assistance markets.

The UK's largest direct insurer has begun offering on-line buyers a 5% discount on its house insurance until September, and 5% off its travel insurance for a limited period.

The insurer said a couple could save as much as £18 on a £360 quote for home insurance on a three-bedroomed semi in London.

It is also enticing motor assistance customers to shop around with its pledge to beat any quote offered by rival providers AA and RAC even if it is only by £1.

Ian Chippendale, Direct Line chief executive, said: "Our internet business has grown dramatically since going live last September and is currently attracting more than 150,000 quotes per month."

The direct writer claims to have bagged 40% of the 450,000 policy online motor insurance market since launching on the internet last September.

Oliver Prill, Direct Line's ecommerce director, said: "Our aim of selling 15% of motor insurance online by 2003 looks within easy reach. The on-line insurance market is ripe for growth and we look to build on our initial success."

The convenience of the internet is proving a major attraction to consumers, since 40% of requests for quotes take place outside office hours.

Direct Line Rescue has grown to become the third largest motor assistance provider with three million customers since it acquired Green Flag last year.

But its share of the car breakdown market is still only 13% compared to the AA's 48% and RAC's 29%.

Direct Line last week announced increased profits of £20m for the last six months, up from £9m this time last year.