Insurer builds electronic capability for its household products

AXA is to roll out full cycle electronic data interchange (EDI) capability on all its standard household products within the next 12 months.

The insurer is building on the rapid rise in electronic trading on all its personal lines products and a corresponding drop in telephone inquiries.

Last year AXA recorded a 24% fall in calls on its personal lines intermediary business, although the account grew during the same period. More than 80% of the insurer's private motor book is now via full cycle EDI.

An AXA spokeswoman said: "Electronic trading is recognised by insurers and brokers as a means of significantly improving the speed, efficiency and cost involved in standard transactions while improving service, choice and value to the end customer."

The insurer expects a further drop in telephone inquiries over the next 12 months as it rolls out the household insurance EDI service with its key software house partners.

The spokeswoman said: "Again improvements in efficiency and cost savings that will result [from EDI capability], help us to sharpen our competitive edge, benefiting brokers and their clients."

The move mirrors AXA's initiatives in commercial lines, where it has developed AXA Business Risk out of which was bought from Independent Insurance.

AXA has declared that it will stop marketing its AXA Direct personal lines brand. Instead personal lines efforts will be focused on intermediated channels, such as corporate relationships and brokers. AXA has corporate deals with the RAC and building societies such as Northern Rock and Portman.