Scheme will help AXA underwriters take advantage of period when brokers are deciding on insurer

AXA plan to win mid-market business from rivals

AXA is sending out more of its underwriters to speak to brokers face to face to help grow its mid-market portfolio and win business from rivals.

The insurer is training its underwriters on how to communicate more effectively with brokers when deciding on whether to underwrite a risk or not.

The move has been driven by AXA’s desire to increase the amount of trading activity that it does with brokers, by getting more of its underwriting capability into broker offices.

Brokers can still speak to underwriters at AXA’s branches but the insurer wants its underwriters to proactively go out and meet with brokers.

Commercial intermediary managing director Jon Walker said this would enable the underwriters to take advantage of the period of uncertainty that a broker has when deciding on which insurer to place a risk with.

Walker added: “If we equip our underwriters with the skills to make them more effective and provide brokers with greater access to underwriting competitively and we do that across our branches day in day out, that will give us a competitive advantage.

“If you can have that better quality face to face and get all of the informant you want there, then you can get to a decision and price point much quicker.

“With my commercial hat on if we are able to demonstrate a high level of competence during the interaction, the broker will be more confident in that individual, and you would hope the underwriter becomes the go-to person for that broker.”

But the insurer stressed that it would not impose this service on brokers and that its underwriting discipline would not be relaxed.

Walker said brokers increasingly want to have three-way conversations involving insurers and their clients.

And added that if more of AXA’s underwriters spent time in broker offices, although the number of underwriters in the branches could reduce, overall they would be able to reach a decision on a risk more quickly.

Walker said: “Brokers value the interaction with underwriters and wish they could have more of it. Our intention is to respond to that and to provide brokers with more of our underwriting time.

“We have great underwriters who are already good at this and spend time with brokers.

“As we write more mid-market business, we need a greater number of our underwriters who have value and can help people in their office.”