Brokers will be able to obtain commercial policies within minutes through an online system developed by an Essex broker, it was claimed this week.

The 'quote and buy' system, developed by wholesale broker South Essex Insurance Brokers (SEIB), claims to deliver policies to brokers within five minutes of incepting quotations.

SEIB plans to launch the Risk Placer system on 1 February, giving brokers access to quotes from QBE and Groupama. Broker Direct will initially distribute and market the system to more than 1,000 brokers.

"At the moment it will be available for commercial quotes on shops, restaurants, pubs - anything which is on the retail high street," said SEIB project manager Colin Baker.

He added: "The aim is to do £10m worth of business through Risk Placer within 18 to 24 months at a cost of less than 1% to run the system."

Risk Placer will be expanded out to include property owners, the motor trade and the professional indemnity industry later in the year.

SEIB also plans to add more insurers to its panel as brokers begin to make use of the system.

Managing director Barry Fehler said: "Eventually clients will be able to use the system to get quotes from their brokers, allowing the broker to compete with direct writers."