Last year’s Business Partnership of the Year went to Absolute Partnership and AXA at the Insurance Times Awards. Here they share their predictions for the year ahead

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Ahead of the deadline for entries to the 2014 Insurance Times Awards, we speak to past winners about their win, their top tips for success and challenges and changes in the industry.

Here Absolute Partnership commercial director Marc DonFranceso talks about winning the 2013 Business Partner of the Year Award for the company’s partnership with AXA.

IT: Why do you think you won the award over other business partnerships in the industry?

MD: Thirdeye is unique, fulfils a need in the fraud market, is collaborative in an industry that is not great at data sharing, and it works. It was a massive boost to Absolute and its profile and our team’s celebrations on the night said it all!

IT: Since you won the award, what has been the biggest change to the insurance industry?

MD: Maintaining sufficient manpower and systems development. Insurers face continued economic, competitive and regulatory pressures so must maintain rates and reduce expense and headcount yet must also increase compliance, improve service, speed up claims, retain customers and fight fraud. No mean feat! We still come across too many talented, dedicated, but over-stretched people frustrated further by their systems’ performance or inflexibility.

IT: What is the biggest issue facing the industry in the next 12 months?

MD: There are two for me… Too many companies trying to do everything for all, especially claims and fraud services, and relying much on client inertia - stick to what you truly excel at! Also, Big Data has become a mantra and, for some, the latest ‘Emperor’s new clothes’. Busy teams need more focused and fruitful steers, or ‘smart data’ as we call it, rather than an even longer to-do list.

IT: What’s on the horizon for Absolute in the year ahead?

MD: We have broadened Thirdeye capability to cover more insurance lines and tackle areas such as industrial disease, pet and rehabilitation claims. Desk-based services continue to grow and we’ve a couple new innovations in pilot to help speed up certain processes and evidence gathering for insurers making swift decisions on which cases to keep in claims portals. Watch this space…

IT: Where does the IT Awards trophy live?

MD: Prominent position in our main two reception areas.

IT: Top tip for people entering this year’s awards?

MD: Put yourself in the judges’ position when writing the entry and ensure it passes the ‘so what?’ test. If you get to present, deliver belief and personality, not just regurgitate your entry or brochure!


To enter this year’s Insurance Times Awards or book a table please click here.

Absolute Partnership managing director David Beardsworth and AXA Commercial Lines claims fraud manager Ed Frost tell Insurance Times what winning the Business Partner of the Year award means to them.