Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain, plans to sell its insurance products on-line by the end of the year, as part of an expansion of its internet operation Tesco Direct .

The chain plans to expand the number of stores offering internet shopping from 100 to 300. At the same time, it expects the number of on-line customers to rise from 250, 000 to one million.

But the potential market for Tesco's insurance products is much larger, because it would include customers using Tesco as their Internet Service Provider, as well as general web-surfers.

At present Tesco's web site provides information about household, motor and pet insurance products. A spokesman said: "We're in the process of gearing up to sell on-line, but we don't have firm deadlines yet." The chain hugely increased its insurance portfolio last year when it started selling motor cover in June.