Understanding broker expectations for improved insurance schemes partnerships


Authored by Gary Head, AXA Director of Schemes and Delegated Authorities

In the past five to six years, the schemes and delegated authorities’ market has seen significant growth. We estimate that schemes and delegated authorities (SDA) currently make up at least 20% of the UK’s commercial, property, casualty and motor business. With growth comes opportunities for evolution and collaboration as well as the chance to develop specialist and niche products and build new relationships.

Earlier this year we carried out some research to better understand the expectations of our broker partners. We’ve always believed that SDA partnerships should be based on strong tripartite collaboration between the insurer, the broker and the customer. And our research, told us that brokers are looking for the same: a partnership that is customer-focused, collaborative and based on knowledge of the unique business sectors that the products serve.

We also know that our partners are looking for us to make it easy for them to do business and provide expert support. With this feedback in mind, we looked to shift our focus to delivering this expertise and aiming to demystify our risk appetite for our chosen partners. As a result, we relaunched our simplified SDA proposition in March 2021 and now offer brokers access to a bespoke one-stop-schemes-shop

The new setup is backed by investment in our team that has brought in expert talent to further bolster our expertise and help to deliver effective partnerships. We now have over 50 dedicated professionals looking after our partners across all aspects of our SDA team. From DA set up and onboarding to relationship management and crucially, providing the underwriting oversight and expertise to support customers and build partnerships that are sustainable and profitable for all. It’s crucial that we ensure the customer is central to everything that we do at AXA, which is why we select brokers based upon their expertise and market access.

Simplifying our proposition has allowed us to harvest our internal knowledge, offer a broad risk appetite and provide access to a dedicated team of underwriters who look to turn things around quickly for our partners. We now make use of more data to reach effective decisions in the risk assessment process, ensure smooth onboarding and to identify growth opportunities for a scheme or DA; outcomes we know are greatly valued by those partners we continue to work with. Ultimately this has helped us to streamline our processes, address broker queries sooner and accelerate our decision-making.

Using our proven expertise in SDA and expanding our offering to emerging markets, has enabled us to support niche sectors and SME businesses who would not traditionally be able to find sufficient cover. With more robust teams and processes now in place, we can be more agile when it comes to getting schemes live and delivering a full service much quicker than before. We’re glad to be able to provide a service which carefully balances speed with expertise and attention to detail.

On top of that, our partners have access to our Broker Learning Zone, which provides practical, on-demand guidance and training, tailored to remote working and learning styles. Resources focus on sales, technical knowledge, health and wellbeing and management and leadership development, with a view to helping our brokers and partners adapt to the new ways of working.

If you have already watched my recent youTalk-insurance video, you will have heard me explore the exciting opportunities for brokers to work with AXA and take their scheme to the next level. We’re always looking for the right partners, so if you want to find out more about our Schemes proposition and what it’s like to work with AXA Commercial Schemes, visit AXA Schemes

If you would like to talk to Gary to find out more about AXA's insurance schemes capability CLICK HERE, leave a message and youTalk-insurance will pass your enquiry on


Gary Head's picture

Gary Head has recently been appointed as Director of Delegated Authorities at AXA Insurance. He previously worked for 23 years at Hiscox. In his roles there as Chief Underwriting Officer and, most recently, Managing Director of Alternative Distribution, he was instrumental in developing the regional intermediated business.

If you would like to contact AXA Commercial & AXA Retail, please Click Here and submit your enquiry and youTalk-insurance will pass your comments on.

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