Tesco is promising to shake up the travel insurance market by making cover as easy to buy as suntan lotion for its 11 million weekly customers.

Shoppers visiting the supermarket giant's stores will be able to obtain instant cover by picking up a travel insurance pack and paying for it at the checkout.

The cover is to be piloted at seven Tesco stores, including Hull, Edinburgh and York, before being rolled out to more than 650 stores by the end of the year.

Significantly, shoppers will not have to complete any forms, only read the details of their cover.

Tesco said its status as the nation's most popular supermarket chain with 11 million customers would challenge the travel industry's dominance in the insurance market.

Andy Dewhurst, spokesman for Tesco, said: “We have designed Tesco Pay at the Till travel insurance to be as convenient as buying from a travel agent, but at around half the cost.”

Tesco is to sell both annual and single trip cover. Annual cover becomes effective from the date of purchase, while customers can decide which month their single trip cover begins.

Cover ranges from £15 for one person on a one-week trip to Europe to £135 for unlimited worldwide travel, including skiing, for a family of six.