Cgu aims to reduce the hassle of buying a new home with the launch of – a new online database of 180,000 properties for sale.

Assertahome will initially offer buildings and contents insurance, but this may be expanded to other lines of business if the site is a success.

Within 'a few months' the site will offer complimentary services, including an insurance supermarket and a database of home specialists and designers.

The new company is owned 30% by estate agents, 56% by CGU and 14% by the management.

CGU group executive director Philip Twyman said: "The dynamics of ebusiness are still embryonic, but assertahome will attract significant new customers, to whom we can market financial services products."

Assertahome users can subscribe to receive updates of newly available properties via email or mobile phone. They can also rank properties on 16 different criteria, access photographs and arrange the financial side of the move online.

The service will provide information on properties available at 3000 estate agents.