Axa PPP Healthcare has come under fire after the provider changed its terms of business so advisers cannot be appointed to business that has been written directly.
The new Axa PPP terms of business for intermediaries state it will not pay commission to an adviser if a policy was originally bought direct from the provider.
The terms of business say: “Where a policy is concluded by Axa PPP at a time when the intermediary is not acting as the client’s agent. Axa PPP will not accept a request by the client or the intermediary to appoint the intermediary to such policy.
“For the avoidance of doubt, in such cases, Axa PPP will not deal with the intermediary in relation to the policy.”
Axa says the new terms of business will not be applied retrospectively, meaning any adviser who has previously taken on a policy which was originally bought directly by the client will continue to receive commission. The company was unable to provide an estimate of how many cases it had where clients had bought direct then subsequently instructed an adviser.
Axa PPP intermediary distribution director Paul Moulton says the decision was taken to “provide clarity” for advisers and clients.
He says: “Axa PPP Healthcare is committed to growing the private healthcare market and has always worked through all available distribution channels to achieve this.
“In order to provide clarity to customers and intermediaries we have taken the decision to not pay commission in respect of business which initially originated on a direct basis.
“We remain fully committed to supporting all registered intermediaries who wish to place policies with Axa PPP Healthcare.”
Wessex Investment Management managing director Kevin Bailey says: “This looks like another insurer beginning to flex its muscles by planning direct to consumer development to the detriment of the intermediary.”