Insurer admits 'inconsistent' performance in commercial lines

AXA has pledged to improve its service to brokers after admitting that its performance is "inconsistent".

The insurer has begun a major programme of work to improve its service levels. Brokers should see the results of the work by the second half of the year.

Mark Cliff, the company's markets managing director, told Insurance Times: "[AXA's service] can be great, but it can be not so good. We want to do the basics consistently well day in, day out.

"I hope by the second half of the year brokers will start to perceive a difference."

But Cliff added that "no insurance company did the basics well".

A survey of brokers conducted last year by Insurance Times found AXA's service levels to be among the worst in the insurance industry. Its claims handling was seen as particularly bad.

Cliff said the work would focus on all aspects of AXA's service to commercial lines brokers, from new business through to claims.

Brokers did not want "frills" when it came to service, Cliff added.

"We are currently mapping our processes," he said. "Broker have already seen improvements in some areas".

Last week, Biba called on insurers to focus on basic service levels.

Its annual survey of broker satisfaction with insurers' service found that while satisfaction levels had been maintained since 2005, there were some areas of concern, particularly in relation to the proportion of policies being issued right first time for commercial lines business.

AXA has claimed that it is leading the way in rolling out products on Imarket. Cliff said that by the end of February the insurer would have eight products with Acturis for new business and mid-term adjustments.

"This is more progress than any other company," he said.

The insurer would roll out products with other software houses during the course of 2007, added Cliff.