Lloyd's managing agency SVB made an aggressive bid to become a leading virtual insurer this week with the launch of Directors' and Officers' cover online through internet subsidiary, Fusion.

SVB created Fusion last summer to sell solicitors' professional indemnity on the web, a move which helped increase SVB's premium income on that book by 30% to £6.2 million.

The D&O policy, which went live last week, will only be available to Fusion's 20 accredited brokers. A further 38 brokers are due to come on board within the next few months.

Fusion rejects around 50% of brokers who apply for accreditation, but director Rob Page still expects to have a panel of 200 brokers inside two years.

SVB claims to be the largest market for D&O at Lloyd's and believes the move will provide "substantial" growth to the account, although Page is not making forecasts for growth public.

Page said: "Brokers now accept that this is a new way of trading, and those we have spoken to are very excited about this move."

Fusion is also using the launch as a platform to promote D&O to medium sized companies.

"We are trying to take the mystique out of D&O. It is no longer a product aimed exclusively at directors of large multi-national companies. Legal developments in the UK and elsewhere have made a lot of people vulnerable," said Page.

Fusion has officially been used to underwrite D&O since February 23, but the system will be modified on a regular basis in an attempt to standardise as many risks as possible.

Ultimately, Fusion is aiming to underwrite 80% of D&O risks automatically, without referral to any underwriters.

Fusion has a number of technical recommendations for brokers to use on their PCs, including browser specifications and server certificates which make trading smoother.

Fusion will make its next product, Office Combined, available within the next two weeks.