Hastings Insurance Services has provided the backing for a new venture which allows customers to buy insurance via text message from their mobile phone.

Text2Insure claimed it can provide travel insurance quotes from Hastings in under a minute.

Customers are asked for personal details and the length and nature of their trips. They are then sent a five-digit code by text corresponding to the cover required.

The customer then receives a telephone call from Hastings to arrange payment by credit card. Policy documents are made available to the individual on the Hastings website, accessed by a password.

Text2Insure director Malcolm McLean said: "This is very convenient way of buying insurance for a younger generation for whom mobile technology is a part of their everyday lives.

"Customers that may have forgotten to get insured before going away can literally arrange cover from the airport within minutes," he added.

Text2Insure said it was currently in talks over selling the model to other major insurers.