The facility of relationship constructing in insurance coverage
“At AXIS, we believe relationships are at the heart of everything we do,” said Janet Jordan-Foster, head of primary insurance at AXIS, to Insurance Business. “This philosophy ranges from the way we manage our talent to the focus we put on building strong relationships with our brokers and partners in sales.”
Talent acquisition, retention and solidarity
AXIS takes a three-pronged approach to promoting growth and success within the company, the first being talent acquisition and retention. Jordan-Foster said, “As a leadership team, we have an understanding of which areas will need the most support in the future, and as remote working becomes the new norm, AXIS has attracted top talent across the country.”
“AXIS was also very resilient thanks to an experienced team of underwriters,” added Jordan-Foster. “We’ve expanded our primary liability team over the past 18 months to ensure we have bandwidth for current market conditions.”
A major focus was on attracting strong talent and, as new employees join, using virtual channels to effectively engage them. This focus on proactive communication also extends to existing and long-term colleagues.
“The second approach is to make sure the talents stick together and people work together,” she explained.
After moving to a remote working model, AXIS has carefully facilitated engagement and communication among colleagues to ensure that the collaboration between underwriters and support teams remains strong and that there are clear channels to keep abreast of developments at AXIS and in the market to stay up to date.
To retain and nurture talent, proactivity is essential. Jordan-Foster noted that “You need to know what your talent is and make sure it is recognized as an important part of the organization.”
AXIS has developed internal and external opportunities to showcase talent. Examples include an ambassadorship program that allows team members to connect with senior management within the company, and underwriting panels and broker engagement forums to develop skills and emphasize their importance to the team.
Jordan-Foster emphasized that a “pay for performance” culture has also helped AXIS compete for and retain top talent.
“The third part is broker engagement,” she said. “We have worked hard as a company to make sure we strengthen our sales force.”
Building strong and lasting broker partnerships
Because broker relationships begin before the account gets through the door, AXIS prioritizes broker engagement.
“We work personally with brokers to ensure a strong dialogue and understanding of each risk and to ensure that we are interacting with different people from the broker’s point of view,” she said. “Over the past few years we’ve really focused on sales and what we need to do to be a top carrier in our industry.”
Within AXIS, the claims team is actively involved in the broker relationship process.
“Our highly experienced claims specialists work closely with our underwriters to ensure that we share information between teams, identify and respond to trends we see in the market, and ultimately provide our distributors with better insights and a broader view of the risk . Added Jordan-Foster.
“The biggest trend we’ve seen lately is that many companies are focusing on the adequacy of interest rates as the insurance industry is feeling the effects of social inflation, among other things,” noted Jordan-Foster. “We have experienced underwriters with a deep understanding of complex risks who work with our partners to provide first-class customer service.”
By employing proactive hiring strategies and promoting a collaborative environment, AXIS has grown and strengthened its business while capitalizing on the current market cycle. Jordan-Foster added, “Great relationships and excellent underwriting and claims services are key to strong contract renewals and new business growth in today’s liability market.”