UK Internet-only insurance firm swiftcover.com is launching a service that enables potential customers to receive motor insurance quotes online via their mobile phones.
To access the mobile site customers send a text message or click on a link from their phone provider's mobile home page.
They are then directed to a form and asked to provide their name, postcode, car registration, date of birth, occupation and years of no claims. A quote will then be sent to them within 60 seconds.
Swiftcover.com says its 24 hour service means customers can get quotes whilst away from their computers, for instance if they are comparing cars at a second-hand dealer.
Tina Shortle, marketing director, swiftcover.com, says: "Our aim is to make car insurance as easy, simple and convenient as possible. By harnessing the next generation of mobile internet technology, we're enabling people to get the facts at their finger-tips and shortening the time and hassle of car insurance quotations."
However, comparison Web site Gocompare.com says the service should not be relied upon by customers when making a final decision on insurance provider because it only relies on six pieces of information.
Hayley Parsons, Gocompare.com, says: "Anyone using this new service will need to re-key their full details at a later date to get a full quote. Therefore our advice would be not to make any decisions based on a 'quick quote', but to follow up your mobile estimate with a more detailed search using a comparison site that can provide an accurate and guaranteed quotation."
In 2006 swiftcover.com launched a text message-based quote service. Customers using the service send an SMS message before receiving a reply asking for postcode, number of years no claims discount and date of birth.
Once customers have texted back the information, they then receive a reply that asks for car registration number, first name, surname and title. They then receive another message that asks for their occupation. This is followed by another text message containing the insurance quote and a quote ID.