AXA PPP settles into new HQ and targets top three position in iPMI

Provider sets out stall for 2012 and beyond

AXA PPP International is inviting brokers – both existing and new partners – to visit its new headquarters as it gears up for the next stage of its development under managing director Andrew Coombs and sales & marketing director Kevin Melton.

Towards the end of 2011, the international private medical insurance (iPMI) provider completed its move into newly refurbished offices in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Soon to be joined by the insurer’s domestic healthcare teams headed up by commercial director Fergus Craig and sales & marketing director James Freeston, Melton said AXA PPP hopes that intermediaries will be keen to see the new facility in action at first hand.

AXA PPP healthcare has had a presence in Tunbridge Wells for some time, but the relocation to a dedicated new facility in the town marks an important stage in its development, Melton said.

Open for business

On a visit to the new facility, Health Insurance heard Melton outline his plans for the iPMI side of AXA PPP for the short-to-medium term and beyond. Melton, who joined AXA from Vanbreda International in 2010, said that the provider was determined to build on its recent successes, including winning the Best iPMI Provider Award at last year’s Health Insurance Awards.

Melton, who also knows the broker community well from his time at Allianz Worldwide Care, said: “We really are using the AXA brand now, we are building up a relationship. We are seen as a serious player, we are bringing in expertise, we are developing the products more than we’ve ever done before.”

Conceding that it had been a deliberate strategy on the part of AXA PPP to focus on cementing its market share in the domestic PMI sector in the past, Melton said the time had come for the insurer to take its iPMI operations to the next level.

He said: “There is no way that we should be seventh or eighth largest, we should be a top three provider. That has to be our short-term goal and we can do that.”

Promising the launch of a “number of developments” in 2011 that aim to make AXA PPP International’s products “more than just reactive”, Melton continued: “It’s about creating a more joined up picture for brokers. The two main things for me are: first, building communication and relationships; and second, where do we position ourselves in the marketplace? We could just be another international medical insurance company that pays the claims in a timely way in the languages people expect. We have to do all of that. But let’s try and do more than that. Let’s try and give people a more informational website, let’s bring in wellbeing, let’s bring some preventative benefits into the products.”

The provider intends to continue to offer the Medix personal claims management to its clients who do fall ill, in an exclusive agreement which means that when one of the provider’s claims staff receive a larger claim, the insured patient is contacted to make sure they are comfortable with what they have been told.

Melton said that far from being a “claims refusal unit” Medix has proved vital and resulted in important – and medically sound – treatment being carried out.

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