Charities have welcomed a new low-cost fundraising scheme that allows them to raise money when their supporters buy insurance through a special online service.
The scheme, launched at the Directory of Social Change's Charity Fair last week, works because the insurance policies are sold over the internet.
There is no need for brokers, so the usual 20 per cent commission they receive can be redirected to the charity.
This means that each transaction can raise anything between £50 and £1,000 for charity, depending on the policy taken out.
"It seems to be a totally new idea," said John Travis, director of dance charity the British Ballet Organization. "The attraction is that charities can benefit from something that their supporters would buy anyway. One of the great attractions is that it is a way of raising funds that doesn't involve a large amount of work."
The scheme costs nothing to join, so the only outlay charities have is the cost of promoting it.
Outsourcing company Charity Business, which developed the scheme with independent financial advisers Aisa Direct, is even on hand to help charities with promotional material.
Supporters using the service to buy individual life cover, critical illness cover or income protection insurance also benefit personally because in addition to pledging support for their chosen charity, they receive discounted quotes.
"Everybody wins," said Mark Freeman, chief executive of Charity Business.
"Customers pay less while their favourite charity receives money at no extra cost to themselves."