This article was produced in partnership with AXA XL
Mia Wallace of Insurance Business sat down with AXA XL UK & Lloyd’s Coverholder and Head of Alternative Distribution Paul Howard (pictured) to discuss what constitutes a successful DA partnership.
Just recently, Paul Howard, Head of Coverholders and Alternatives Distribution for UK & Lloyd’s at AXA XL, sat down with the Insurance Division to delve into the ins and outs of AXA XL’s coverholder offerings and appetites. That’s it. Emphasizing that DA is a long-term undertaking for the insurer, AXA XL emphasized that he has been in the coverholder market for over 30 years. this important market.
His time spent serving the market has given Howard a keen sense of what it takes to build and maintain a healthy DA partnership. Underpinning each of the factors he mentions is the need to see DA as interrelated.
“It’s a bit of a cliché,” he said. It comes down to very good and timely communication and the ability to take advantage of all the opportunities in a given area so that we can both grow together. It’s also about how we grew up together.
“It’s a very mutual relationship. [our coverholders] They are our representatives because they transact business on our behalf. So it is very important that they share similar values as we do and are not treated as ‘others’. “
This partnership approach is the foundation upon which a healthy DA relationship can grow, and Howard has identified several key ingredients that constitute that growth. He said coverholders seeking suitable opportunities should keep in mind the breadth and length of product offerings of future insurers, as well as their financial strength and track record of success.
These factors are important to consider in narrating the experience, he said, and this experience adds significant value to these relationships. We can tailor our solutions to help our partners differentiate themselves in the marketplace and find new, ever-evolving ways to stand out and work with clients.
According to Howard, AXA XL’s more than 30 years of serving the market, combined with its financial position, make the company’s product a particularly compelling proposition, which underpins All it takes is the strength and commitment of the team that makes it all happen.
“Like most insurance markets, a lot of it is about people,” he said. “We have to have good relationships, we have to be available. We have a pretty big book so…we can talk about best practices and make sure we communicate regularly with our coverholder partners.
“This is not only about interactions between underwriters and brokers or coverholders, but also about sharing some of the thought leadership efforts we do through our Fast Forward resources. share thought leadership on relevant topics. [impacting this space] And help your partners better anticipate future developments in how things are evolving. “
Prospective coverholders will not only share best practice tips, but also provide insight into external changes in the broader business environment, including regulatory changes and sanctions they may be affected by, so By working with partners in this way, AXA XL can guide them through any market transition and deploy a partnership-first approach to DA, he said. can proactively mitigate pressing challenges.
Future coverholders will need to pay close attention not only to underwriters’ immediate offers, but also to the consistent outreach and communication required to make a successful DA partnership. Broader market, Howard said So some carriers feel that another year is over once they get stamped, but really this is just the beginning.
“A delegation is not an abdication,” he said. Go back to that exchange and make sure this is a true dialogue, not a one-sided monologue. This is one of the areas that is very important to us and is why we try to interact with our partners as much as possible.
“Some of our partners have more, but we have meetings with coverholders and their brokers at least quarterly so we can see how things are going. For example, we discuss whether we need to change anything and share market knowledge about product enhancements and available innovations that may need to be considered.”
Another important consideration for coverholders is recognizing the value of access to additional services when creating an overall proposition. As part of the AXA family, AXA XL’s coverholder business will have access to the broader group’s resources to benefit partners, Howard said. A good example of this is his AXA Health. The company has a large amount of resources at its disposal, many of which his AXA XL provides to his DA partners, who pass these on to their clients.
Also, of absolute importance when considering a DA route to market is establishing a track record for prospective partner billing. That promise to pay is evidence of the purchase of the insurance promise and as such must be made in a fair, consistent and timely manner. and play a key role in enabling us to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
Howard’s advice for coverholders looking for the right partner is clear. Find someone with a similar spirit, aligned ambitions, and a shared commitment to the value that long-term, mutually beneficial DA partnerships bring to all stakeholders across the chain.
“Find financial strength, a spirit of purposeful leadership, and a unique combination. [approach] It’s about looking at solutions for long-term partnerships,” he said. “And for us, with the group and our resources, we can bring it all together. [thought leadership] When it comes to the innovation and product development happening in the market, I think it’s a very unique product that makes us a particularly attractive proposition. “
Paul Howard has been an insurance professional for over 35 years. In September 2018 he joined AXA XL and in April 2022 he assumed his current role as AXA XL’s Cover Holder and Head of Alternative Distribution, UK & Lloyd’s, before taking on several roles. I held a senior management position.