AXA XL will have access to what Vindati founder Hugh Burgess called "a previously untapped market" through its platform that connects brokers with underwriting capacity for their policies

AXA XL has expanded the reach of its ocean cargo insurance products to the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market through a partnership with insurtech platform Vindati.

The specialist commercial insurance wing of major French provider AXA will now have access to customers on the Vindati platform, which allows brokers to place risk on behalf of SMB customers in a range of industries.

Coverage is suited to SMBs that engage in importing and exporting activities resulting in annual sales of $1m to $25m.

Andrew D’Alessio, head of ocean cargo for AXA XL’s US marine insurance team, said: “With this partnership, we’re extending availability of our cargo coverage to a broader business base.

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The new coverage will have a transit and storage limit of $5m

“Vindati’s online platform expands our distribution to Vindati’s relationships and gives our brokers easy access to instant, customisable quotes to address their clients’ cargo insurance needs.

“Focusing on US cargo risks with an international exposure of $25m and less, businesses can now easily buy AXA XL cargo coverage and include inland transit and warehouse coverage as well.

“With this partnership we have an attractive solution for a segment of the market that we ordinarily do not serve.”


What does the new partnership mean for brokers?

AXA XL is an internationally-focused specialist property and casualty risks company that operates in 200 countries through a network of underwriting subsidiaries.

Its new partnership with Vindati will allow all these subsidiaries with an appetite for ocean cargo risk to underwrite policies bought on the platform by brokers on behalf of their SMB clients.

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Hugh Burgess (Credit: AM Best)

Vindati founder and CEO Hugh Burgess said: “Our platform was built to address a clear need for solutions aimed at brokers who are serving small to medium-sized businesses, giving them the ability to administrate higher volumes of policies cost effectively and efficiently.

“Not only does Vindati offer brokers speed and easy access, it provides insurance carriers, like the AXA XL companies, with greater efficiency to deliver a variety of coverages to a wide range of businesses”


Vindati’s use of technology in insurance

As well as using technology on its platform to integrate the broking and underwriting process, Vindati also uses predictive analytics, a sub-study of AI, to establish the risk associated with each policy application.

This is based on the data that brokers provide, which Mr Burgess claimed is “minimal”, believing the automation-driven approach to insurance will increase the pool of clients insurers can service.

“Using leading technology, integrated data and analytic tools, we’re helping brokers and carriers deliver bindable quote proposals and policies in mere minutes,” he said.

“We’re excited to be able to partner with AXA XL to expand their capabilities in this way and look forward to working together to reach a previously untapped market segment.”

From AXA XL’s perspective, this means it will be able to make the entire ocean cargo insurance process more efficient for SMB clients, with AI expediting the application process and its own automation technology ensuring fast claims payments.

Conor Murray, AXA XL’s head of global specialty claims for North America, added: “Combining Vindati’s automated quote to issuance capabilities with AXA XL’s streamlined First Notice of Loss claims reporting website and handling process is a winning solution for our brokers and insureds, enabling faster payment of claims.”