Lloyds TSB claims that it is consolidating its position as market leader in distribution of home, creditor and travel cover.

General insurance managing director Jon Pain said the group had about 12% market share of domestic new business and 17-19% of creditor new business.

It is now planning to muscle its way on to some major panels to further growth plans. It has joined the AA's panel and has just signed a deal to be insurer of choice with internet provider AOL.

General insurance pre-tax profits jumped by 17% in the first half of 2002 compared to the year before.

Strong growth in creditor and home insurance helped push the result for the six months to 30 June to a record £388m, up from £333m.

The group has 8.7 million insurance policies. Of these, about 3.2 million are home policies, of which the group underwrites about 2.2 million.

Pain now plans to grow the motor insurance side - underwritten by Churchill.

Premium income from underwriting increased by £29m or 14%, mainly due to higher home insurance sales, which were up by 25%.

The banking group's broking work saw commissions rise by £73m, or 28%.

Sales from Lloyds TSB's branches increased by 8% and direct channels, comprising direct mail, telephone, affinity and internet, rose by 23%.

Analysis by type of business shows income from creditor insurance increased by 37%.

Sales of home policies increased by 18% to 617,000.

But claims increased by £30m, or 39%, to £107m.

The general insurance business outperformed much of the rest of the group. Overall pre-tax profits were flat at £1.6bn for the period.

The group announced a whopping 48% rise in provisions for bad and doubtful debts, but moved to calm worries about its Scottish Widows life business.