Brokers say it is ‘inevitable’ that AXA will grab market share from local trading

AXA plans to increase its gross written premium (GWP) across the South West and Wales by more than 15% over the next three years following the opening of its Cardiff branch.

This week’s opening of AXA’s 11th office comes after Aviva and NIG closed their offices in Cardiff in 2013 and 2010, leaving just RSA and Allianz as the main insurers with a physical presence in the Welsh capital.

The AXA Cardiff branch will house underwriters and sales staff who will trade face-to-face with regional brokers.

Previously the brokers were serviced from its Bristol office.

Bristol and Cardiff manager Ian Bromfield told Insurance Times that AXA’s regional presence gave it scope to write at least 15% more in premiums in the next three years from both existing brokers and those with which it does not currently trade.

“We need to be realistic about what kind of business we are trying to acquire,” he added. “It needs to be sustainable.”

Broker reaction

Brokers said they expected AXA would grab market share from other insurers because brokers prefer insurers that trade locally.

Prescott Jones sales and marketing director Paul Gardner said: “With local people understanding the market and the business in Wales, you are more likely to do business with them, providing the policy is right for the customer.

“Whatever people say, it is a people business and very close relationships can make a big difference.

“It is inevitable that AXA will grab market share as long as they recruit well.”