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AXA CEO Lists Future Major Changes For Insurance Industry

AXA CEO Lists Future Major Changes For Insurance Industry
The times when insurance meant financial compensation are no more and this is a challenge that a top industry executive says he is finding it hard to cope up with.
This sentiment was expressed by AXA’s chief executive for international and new markets, Benoit Claveranne. It has been only months that this largest insurer of France had announced plans for a restructuring so that it can simplify its operations. AXA reorganized its business to cater to the new challenges that the industry is throwing up and eliminated two layers of management.
After the reorganization, one of the five business units formed is the "international and new markets" division. Claveranne heads a team that is in-charge of AXA's business in 30 of the "fast-growing" and "extremely innovative" markets.
"If I was happy with our progress, I should be fired," Claveranne had told the media in an interview late last month.
"So, how do we do? I think we're promising but we're always telling ourselves we should go faster because there are still too many things in which we believe we can do better," he added.
More is now expected from insurers by customers, said the executive while highlighting the industry changes that AXA now has to addresses. Customers now demand support from insurers for minimization of the effect of an unfortunate incident on their lives apart from the customary financial compensation. For example, customers now want health insurers to do more than just covering treatment costs for illnesses such as supporting psychological or counselling services required by patients, he explained.
The CEO explained that there is a rising trend among customers demanding insurance policies that cover "nothing more, nothing less" than their needs. He said that despite the fact that there is dearth of availability of such options in the market, but insurance companies can aid customers ot gain a better understanding of the risks that are faced by them to avoid accidents or to purchase insurance that caters to their demands.  
In order to aid customers to understand and gain a idea of the risk of water leakage and theft at home, a website in six European countries was launched by AXA in October last year. People are able to study about the frequency of occurrence of such incidents and the expenses to fix them from the site. Such data were previously only available internally within the company for designing and pricing of insurance products.
"The world of yesterday, where I just give you money for a claim, is over," said Claveranne. "Our job is to say: 'How do we cover these things more and more?' and 'How do we cover them in a different way?'"
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In comparison to the stronghold in Europe and the United States that the company has, the presence of the company in the countries that Claveranne oversees is small.   
He however added that the company has been able to attempt new methods for business in some of those markets because it is relatively new there. Claveranne explained that such methods included sale of insurance products to customers directly through digital channels as soon as a presence of ASA is set up in the market without having to being cowed down by legacy systems and practices.
"The job of my team and I is to make sure that in the next three to 10 years, much of the future growth engine of AXA will come from us," he said. "The segment already grew by 20 percent in one year. I think we can more than double that income in the next few years."

Christopher J. Mitchell

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