How AXA XL is responding to the evolving needs of European Risk Managers

Bruno-Laval,-AXA-XL-Regional Head-Europe-Insurance

Authored by Bruno Laval, AXA XL Regional Head – Europe, Insurance

The FERMA forum in Berlin this month is the first that we will attend as AXA XL. Bruno Laval, Regional Head – Europe, Insurance at AXA XL, explains how he and his teams are responding to the challenges faced by clients across Europe and how our combined offering is giving them access to even greater capabilities and expertise.

What trends are you seeing around insurance buying in Europe?

We are increasingly hearing from risk managers that they want to buy locally-underwritten coverage. This has always been true to a certain extent, but recent uncertainty surrounding the UK’s exit from the European Union has brought the issue into sharper relief. It is important for insurers to listen to the requirements of their customers, to have expertise on the ground and the ability to discuss and offer coverage locally, in their language.

Insurance buyers also are telling us that political instability, both close to home and further afield, continues to be a top risk concern. This is a good example of an area where our clients are asking us to go beyond simply providing insurance coverage, and where we are able to offer access to expertise and support to help prevent, prepare for and recover from potential shocks.

In addition to risk transfer, we enable and encourage clients to work with crisis management experts to develop robust risk management plans to prepare for, and recover from, events caused by political turbulence.

Eighteen months after the acquisition of XL by AXA, how are clients benefitting from the combination of XL’s operations, AXA Corporate Solutions, AXA Matrix and AXA Art?

The combination of the AXA brand, financial strength, product suite and specialist expertise of XL Catlin, means we can offer our clients a greater breadth and depth of solutions and access to an even larger geographical footprint. We are a market leader in Europe in the large commercial risk and speciality segment and one of the world’s largest providers of international insurance programs. Clients and brokers are now benefiting from the combined expertise of our larger group.

For example, we are now able to tap into the expertise of AXA Climate and offer clients access to parametric solutions for certain weather-related risks. Our risk consulting capabilities are now even larger, with more engineers in more geographies and access to enhanced risk modelling capabilities. For clients with captives, or for those thinking of setting one up, we can now offer even greater capability and solutions. And it goes on. We are able to offer clients the benefits of these increased capabilities without losing our nimbleness and the excellent relationships we have with our partners throughout Europe.

How important is innovation to your plans for Europe?

Innovation has long been a cornerstone of our offering to clients.We are keen to talk to our European clients about how technology is changing the way their businesses work and to find solutions that harness new technologies to help clients manage and transfer risks.

Over recent months our innovation team has been involved in some extremely interesting proofs of concept that have given us some fascinating insights into the risks that our clients are facing and the ways in which we can use innovative technologies and ways of thinking to devise solutions to their current and future needs.

For our European clients, we have been harnessing the opportunities offered by Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things to create risk transfer solutions. For example, among other things, we can now insure projects involving autonomous vehicles. For our clients that transport sensitive goods sensitive to conditions such as light and temperature, we have been using sensors placed in cargo and data mining to gain valuable insights into the state of those goods throughout their journey, for example.

New technologies are not only transforming the way our European clients operate and the risks they face, they also are providing us with opportunities to rethink the way we assess, analyse and underwrite risk.

What are you looking forward to at the upcoming FERMA forum?

This is the first FERMA Forum that we will attend as AXA XL and we will be celebrating our first birthday during this gathering of risk managers in one of the great cities of Europe where so much recent history has been made.

The FERMA forum offers us the opportunity to meet clients and brokers from across Europe -and beyond- to discuss the topics on their minds, the risks keeping them awake at night and how we can respond to their changing needs.

The forum always sees vibrant debates and a fascinating exchange of ideas.

Having so many risk professionals gathered in one place also gives us the chance to renew relationships and to talk to clients old and new about how AXA XL can work with them to meet their future challenges.

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