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Unexpected demand puts Axa service under strain

Axa has been forced to take action to improve service levels to IFAs after it underestimated business volumes on its new protection product.

The insurer has suspended its tele-underwriting facility for tied advisers in an effort to free up capacity for IFAs.

Axa admits it has not been able to manage the level of calls it has been receiving.

It expected that The Protection Account would see 10 to 20 per cent of applications taking advantage of tele-underwriting but that figure has been substantially outstripped.

Head of protection marketing Ian Mallon hopes to be able to restore the facility to tied advisers in the next few weeks.

Axa launched its protection proposition in November 2004 initially through distribution partners Bankhall, Millfield, Tenet, Lifesearch and Britannia Building Society. It will not be available to the whole of market until the end of 2005.

Mallon says: “Tele-underwriting is not a solution that you can get right in two or three weeks. It will take two to three years to get right. This is a long-term investment and we are fully committed to it. We want to get our service levels up first and we are using customer research to monitor the situation.”

Chadborn Baker & Kearle IFA Peter Chadborn says: “We have noticed a definite deterioration in service levels over the past three weeks. There is a marked difference between them and, for example, Royal Liver.”


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