Santiago Fernández
Executive Vice President of Vehicles, P&C and Health
AXA Mexico
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View from the Top

Mobility Restrictions, Economic Fallout Give Insurers the Blues

By Andrea Villar | Thu, 09/24/2020 - 13:40

Q: How has vehicle insurance transformed over the years?

A: The vehicle insurance industry has transformed but not as quickly as we would like. Despite the fact that insurance is a civic duty, its penetration in Mexico is still low. Only 25- 35 percent of vehicles in Mexico are insured, meaning that when a person is stuck in traffic, probably only one in five cars around you is protected. This should not only raise concern among drivers but also among pedestrians, since road accidents are one of the main causes of death in our country.

Q: What added value does AXA provide to companies seeking to insure their fleets?

A: Companies usually have two types of fleets: light and heavy vehicles. The latter is most linked to their economic activity due to logistics operations, which is why it is the area in which we have innovated the most. Our experience over the years has allowed us to recognized that insurance alone is not enough. Beyond a refund, in case of theft or accident, companies are looking for prevention strategies. A tracking device is not enough to recover the vehicle or the stolen goods. Today, there are devices that allow us to mine data to detect driving habits and provide training where appropriate. According to the statistics we collect, we can also suggest alternative routes to companies.

Unfortunately, theft rates in Mexico have not decreased and seven out of 10 vehicles stolen in Mexico are lost in the State of Mexico. At AXA, we aspire to stop being a payment agent and to become a caretaker of people and their assets.

Q: How has the pandemic transformed the insurance industry?

A:  The users’ relationship with their cars has changed. If people need to take their car out, they do so when there is less traffic congestion. This has generated a decrease in the number of car accidents in cities and therefore, companies are forced to offer more competitive prices. The other facilitator of change is the economic crisis. Unfortunately, this situation has led families to prioritize their expenses. We have observed that a significant number of customers have decided to cancel their car insurance prematurely. This is not because of increasing competition but because of reduced vehicle use. The number of insured cars has decreased in recent months; however, we expect a recovery as the lockdown eases.

Our strategy in this situation is to offer fair prices to our customers, accompanied by the customer service that has always characterized us. AXA continues to rank No. 1 in car insurance surveys. We have also implemented a strategy of providing free theft coverage to our clients while their vehicles are at home. This allows our clients to save money and at the same time continue with their car insurance.

Q: How has the insurance sector advanced in its digital transformation?

A: Without a doubt, human contact in the insurance sector in Mexico is still a major factor. COVID-19, however, was a turning point for the industry. Everyone's buying habits have changed and this industry is no exception. We do not need human contact to sell insurance. Nevertheless, users do need and request assistance to buy it. In response to this situation, our agents have relied on digital channels to advise their clients.

 

AXA is a French insurance company present in 57 countries with over 108 million clients worldwide. In Mexico, AXA has over 6 million clients, supported by 56 offices throughout the country

Photo by:   AXA
Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst