Standard Life Healthcare is giving brokers an extra 5% in commission if they place private medical insurance (PMI) business through Policy Master's newly launched application service provider (ASP), Mediquote.

The much-delayed ASP lets brokers log on to the web, fill in their customers' details to compare cover and obtain quotes immediately.

The service works in accordance with the Association of British Insurers' guidelines that stipulate key elements of the cover must be explained by each PMI provider.

Standard Life is offering commissions of 25% to 35% for individual and small to medium group policies.

Policy Master's business development director Mike Dodd said: “More and more customers are going to be pushed towards private medical insurance. That is OK if it is easy for them to buy, but I would say it's still a product that needs a lot of selling by brokers.”

The ASP lets brokers click on variations of PMI cover – dentist cover, alternative medicine and consultancy services – to find which insurers cover what and their prices.

The system has been developed with backing from a number of insurers including Norwich Union and PPP Healthcare, but the leading supporter has been Standard Life.

Quotes and product information are available from every provider, but only Standard Life is able to accept payment and organise direct debits online.

Virgin business means companies and individuals who have not had private medical insurance before.

Standard Life's intemediary manager Iain McMillan said: “When I came into the industry about five and a half years ago, I was staggered by the lack of quotation and back office systems.

“Most brokers were happy with a three to four day turnaround on quotes, but things have now moved into the 21st Century.”