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AXA launches micro business insurance service

30th Jan 2012
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Insurance group AXA has launched a new direct insurance service, offering small businesses, start-ups and sole traders ‘bespoke protection’, flexibility and support from its online portal.

Responding to a desire from the micro-end of the business community for an alternative solution, AXA Business Insurance now has a dedicated website where businesses can choose tailored cover in the following areas:

  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Public liability insurance
  • Employers' liability insurance

The ‘online journey’ is being targeted at specific trades and professions, of up to eight employees (up to £2m turnover), allowing businesses to buy exactly the cover they need and reducing potential start-up costs.

Darrell Sansom, managing director at AXA Commercial Insurance, told AccountingWEB that the offering had moved on from the traditional ‘bundled’ approach.

“What we believe we have done, in terms of reviewing the technology that we had in place, was to create an environment where a small or micro business can feel comfortable in making the correct purchase decision.

“What we have sought to do, through feedback from consumers, is to provide an opportunity for them to purchase what they need. In terms of accounting, if you’re a chartered accountant, then there’s a body requirement in certain scenarios around minimum levels of cover. In our journey we’ve sought to make that simple on the basis that when they incorporate the body to which they’re a member, the solution will tell you which are compulsory covers and which are optional.”

The AXA Business Insurance website also includes some online risk management tools and advice that the group is looking to enhance over the next three-to-six months.

The launch of the new service also coincides with the insurer’s latest research which reveals many SMEs are starting up with little awareness of the risks they face along with a lack of knowledge of how to protect themselves.

Amanda Blanc, chief executive of AXA Commercial Lines, said: “Our research showed that many SMEs are starting up without knowing what they need, or who to turn to for advice, which is why we’re launching AXA Business Insurance.”

AXA warned that it is important for businesses to protect their accumulated assets before they look for growth opportunities.

The research also found that despite the risks they face, few small businesses plan for every eventuality, with 19% of UK SMEs surveyed not being able to identify the risks facing their business. Almost half of the respondents did not have a business continuity plan in place at all, and 91% had not reviewed their policies to see if they are covered for public disturbances such as the London riots.

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