Insurance expertise lies in the ability of professional underwriters to assess, mutualise or transfer individual or business risks. Risk prevention help the insurer and the insured - be it an individual or a large corporation - to avoid accidents and to facilitate the reparation of those accidents. AXA has developed a close working relationship with clients both before and after incidents. The Group uses its risk management skills not only to establish premiums but also to reduce risk - human and natural.
In addition to traditional risk prevention, insurers can choose to underwrite risks in a manner that encourages activities and behaviours that contribute to a stronger, safer and more sustainable society. Numerous offers with social or environmental added-value have been developed by various AXA entities in the P&C business. These include for example motor insurance encouraging low emissions vehicles, home insurance with environmental appliances upgrades, SME covers favoring "green" buildings or car fleets or the promotion of the development of renewable energies via adapted policies covering the equipment and the revenues derived from electric energy sales, etc, as well as adapted reinsurance and claims management strategies.
Limited mileage policies: insurers have offered limited mileage motor policies, with gradual discounts depending on the distances covered, aiming directly to reduce the claims experience. Research has also shown that such packages effectively encourage customers to use their vehicles less, with the distances covered reduced. This behavior change leads both to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and claims. Many AXA entities offer such limited mileage policies which focus more specifically on this environmentally responsible behavior component. They have proven to be popular with customers.
Insuring "clean" vehicles: Through discounted insurance policies, motor insurers can actively encourage drivers to move towards vehicles that consume less fuel, such as hybrid or electric vehicles. On top of an immediate and significant reduction in the level of greenhouse gas emissions per policyholder, this type of policy represents an interesting commercial move for the insurer. Indeed, certain statistical studies show that owners of such vehicles not only have an "environmental" profile, but also drive more responsibly. This reduction in claims, following research and risk management quantification, enable the Group to continue offering such targeted motor policies. Moreover, the market for hybrid or low-consumption vehicles is booming in certain regions around the world. Many AXA entities have developed such offers.
Environmental risk audits and modified underwriting guidelines. AXA Corporate Solutions offers risk analysis and prevention services. This expertise makes it possible to reduce the total loss experience through stronger prevention, set out in specifications that clients undertake to comply with. Each year, several hundred site visits are carried out. The AXA CS underwriting manual incorporates its clients' sustainable development policies, with audits also taking in energy and security aspects, safety or human rights in the workplace.
Specialized markets - marine: at AXA CS, it is company policy to deny insurance cover for any vessels that are unable to prove that they are fully compliant with the regulations and standards in force or whose conditions for implementation are in doubt. The underwriting of any fleet with oil tankers over 15 years old - all of which are single-hull vessels - is subject to a full preliminary review by a committee of technical experts. At this stage, systematically excluding single-hull vessels from coverage does not appear to be an option because fleets are generally made up of both single and double-hull boats, and everything depends on the actual quality of these vessels.
Ground pollution: AXA Corporate Solutions offers the "XS Depoll" service in order to encourage businesses to clean up any pollution at their sites, e.g. following flooding linked to storm surges, either with a view to setting up infrastructures or further to the direct or indirect impacts of their activities. This insurance policy guarantees the reimbursement of any excess costs linked to certain random aspects such as the complexity of the ground or the limited results that can be achieved with certain depollution techniques..
Environmental damage: AXA Corporate Solutions has developed the ECOSPHERE range, which combines civil liability cover, protecting third parties both on and off site, environmental liability cover, and a "damages" section to protect the policyholder's assets. This is based on limiting any worsening of environmental damage and on stopping damage from spreading by providing flexible and rapid emergency compensation measures.
Small and medium enterprises
Environmental liability insurance: AXA France Entreprises offers innovative covers for environmental damage insurance (civil liability, loss of business, legal protection and support in the event of an environmental crisis). The G.R.E.EN policy (Garanties des Risques Environnement de l'Entreprise - Environmental risk coverage for enterprises) includes one area of coverage concerning environmental protection costs for businesses. This aims to cover any costs incurred for protecting the environment, such as prevention, repairing damages or decontamination costs. This makes it possible to prevent the "orphan site" phenomenon, which can occur when an incident has bankrupted the business that owns the site, and it is left as wasteland, posing major long-term pollution problems in some cases such as when toxic products are stored without any surveillance.
Flooding prevention. AXA Insurance UK focuses on flooding in certain regions, largely as a consequence of climate change. The affiliate commissioned a report from a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute regarding the significant threat posed by climate change to UK small businesses and the dire financial consequences facing companies which fail to act to protect themselves from the risks it poses. A wide range of initiatives and services have been developped in this vein: dedicated report on the threat posed by climate change to UK small businesses; various guides (carbon calculator for businesses up to 250 employees, climate change on the "Ask the Expert" website section), tailored consulting and insurance product offering (Climate Change & You': premium discounts for offsetting via the Climatesure.co.uk portal). AXA UK has also developed an online "carbon calculator" to allow SME business to understand and then offset their carbon emissions. The calculator has been designed in conjunction with the Carbon Neutral Company and provides policyholders with a carbon assessment.
Windfarms insurance. Companies bringing new environmental technologies to market often face difficulties securing financing, due to the extensive number of risks involved and/or the extended payback periods. Insurers can facilitate the development of new, sustainable technologies by correctly pricing premiums to reassure investors. Insuring windfarms is consistent with this approach. Furthermore, AXA has recognized expertise within the Group on both prevention and underwriting, adapted for construction, machine breakage and loss of business. Nevertheless, to insure wind farms, it is vital to be able to effectively manage the cumulative exposures for wind farms and to factor in the consequences of climate change linked to the increase in wind speeds, which is expected to affect older facilities, the mandatory fitting of lightning protection systems, and greater protection during the setup and test phases, which are the riskiest. Reinsurance exclusions still apply.
Photovoltaic systems insurance. In addition to the wind farm sector, the installation of photovoltaic systems is also strong in Germany. Insurance coverage for photovoltaic systems is offered as EAR (Erection All Risk insurance, building phase) coverage for the installation phase and for the operation phase in the form of Electronic Equipment Insurance (EEI) and Electronic Business Interruption Insurance (EBI). In addition, the financial loss resulting from a failure of the equipment due to an insured risk is covered. Corresponding underwriting guidelines have been drawn up, differing in two main lines : the smaller photovoltaic systems up to 150 kWp which are installed in large numbers mainly in residential premises and are operated by private individuals ; and the larger systems over 150 kWp through to multi-megawatt systems.
Road safety represents a key issue for society in general. AXA, as a leading motor insurer, has built up in-depth expertise on the analysis of risky driving behavior and how to reduce the consequences of accidents. In this way, the Group is able to take preventative actions with a view to effectively minimizing the number and severity of road accidents, benefiting not only its clients, but also society in general. Most relevant AXA entities develop products and services in this vein. Initiatives focusing on society in general are led by AXA Prevention, and further details are available in the "Civil Society" section.