While smaller, independent, brokers can be more profitable for insurers, historically insurers have struggled to capitalise on this, mainly because it’s expensive to provide one-to-one engagement across a community of thousands of individual firms and the economies of scale just aren’t there.
That might all be about to change though, with the launch of AXA’s Elevate proposition designed to tackle this very problem.
Elevate is composed of four levels – Gold, Silver, Bronze and Entry – and every broker that has an account under £350,000 with AXA will be able to benefit from the proposition as Chris Maguire, AXA’s National Trading Centre manager explains.
“Every broker in Elevate will have an account manager who will work with them on pipelining, prospecting, account reviews and helping them with any problematic cases,” he says.
The initiative is designed to give these brokers the kind of access and support that they’ve been lacking and that support is tailored as brokers move up through the tiers.
The Bronze category, for brokers with accounts between £40,000-£100,000 will have a telephone-based account manager, a dedicated contact who will proactively reach out to them on a regular basis.
In the Silver category, for accounts up to £200,000, the account management will still largely be phone-based but, as this cohort of brokers is smaller, they can expect more time with their account manager.
The Gold tier, for brokers with up to £350,000 of business with AXA, will have their phone-based support supplemented by personal, face to face account management.
All brokers will have access to the dedicated Elevate portal which will, over time, host a range of material from news and views to sector specific research and market studies as well as the BrokerWise training platform.
Chris explains that as brokers move up through the tiers, they will have access to more support, free of charge, such as marketing consultancy sessions, web reviews and data insight tools.
“We really want to invest in this community of brokers,” says Chris.
“We have invested in extra account managers and value-added services to give these brokers the attention they deserve. These brokers are good for us, they make us money and we want to grow with them.”
And Elevate is designed to tackle another issue that has plagued the broker market for years – getting up and running in the first place. It’s often a chicken and egg situation with start-ups unable to secure clients without agencies and unable to secure agencies without the right volume of business to bring.
“We’ve called it Kickstart and it formalises what we do with new agency applicants,” explains Chris.
“We will provide an account manager to these brokers who will work on getting the agency set up, understand their plans for trading and give them a year to 18 months to get up and running before we can move them into the tiered system.”
He believes that this finally tackles the problem of getting started as a broker in today’s market: “We will start the account from zero and work with the broker and support them in their ambitions.”