AXA sending mixed messages

I had to laugh today when I found out quite by accident that AXA could no longer provide Professional Indemnity Insurance to anyone providing services to them or any other Financial Services company.  I imagine that as FS is one of the biggest industries in the UK AXA’s decision will affect a great many of their customers.

It’s a very worrying sign when a company thinks their own industry is too risky to work with – what message do they think their wider customer base and shareholders should take from this decision?

AXA’s underwriting department didn’t see the irony.

Of course their are important Customer Experience and Customer Service  lessons in this story.

  1. Every part of a business needs to be aware of how the decisions it makes might play in the media or with its wider customer base.
  2. It’s amazing how routinely companies  claim one set of values in their marketing messages but then demonstrate another in all the little things they do.
  3. Companies need to work harder to explain to customers how changes will affect them and why they are making them.  By contrast AXA had advised us in our renewal notice that we ‘needn’t do anything’ unless there is a ‘change to the relevant facts affecting our insurance’.  It was completely by chance that a minor change in our contact details threw up some new questions AXA wanted us to answer and eventually to them informing us that they had changed their policy and so could no longer insure us.  It makes you worry for the poor devils who haven’t stumbled upon this fact and do need to make a claim.  As well as causing an unholy mess AXA could well try to claim caveat emptor.  That certainly wouldn’t ‘Redefine Standards’.