AXA XL innovates to cover sharing economy and autonomous technologies


AXA XL innovates to cover sharing economy and autonomous technologies

Mukadder Erdoenmez, head of international casualty, Europe, NEAT

As the evolution of disruptive online networks and advances in technology, such as Uber, Airbnb and self driving vehicles, speeds up, the insurance cover required has had to develop quickly too.

Never one to be behind the curve, reinsurer AXA XL and its innovation initiative, called NEAT (New Economies, Autonomy and Technology), is designing new coverages to address changing client needs and serve emerging sectors.

Intelligent Insurer caught up with Mukadder Erdoenmez, head of international casualty, Europe, who leads NEAT, to find out more.

What new products are you working on and for which segments?
We have developed insurance solutions to support the development of the sharing economy and the adoption of autonomous technologies - two sectors where we believe insurance has a key role to play. The solution we developed for the sharing economy caters to start-ups as well as mature platforms in that field, while the autonomy wording we designed is aimed at any company that is looking to trial or use autonomous technologies as part of their operations, from airports to manufacturing companies.

For each of the examples, what prompted your team to think about designing them?
For the last four years we have been working closely with UK-based start-up Oxbotica, a leader in the field of autonomous vehicles, to understand the data, risk management and insurance implications of that technology. Through insuring many of their real-life environment trials, we have gathered a significant amount of data and expertise. We applied this knowledge to create a solution that brings together a number of existing coverages - from property to third-party liability, cyber, for example. and, more recently, to design a single insurance wording fit to cover the risks associated with the adoption, by a company, of autonomous technologies.

When it comes to the sharing economy, our journey has been a bit different. We looked at the industries that had experienced the most growth in recent years and that sector was among those at the top of the list. We realised we didn’t have any solutions that were relevant to their needs so we approached a few of those start-ups to understand what their biggest challenges were and set out to design a solution that would not only address those needs but also become core to their value proposition.

How do these products differ from others on the market designed to address similar challenges?
For our autonomy wording, we decided to adopt a holistic approach to provide a single policy that would cover the risks associated with embedding autonomous technologies within a company’s operations.

We came up with a product for the sharing economy that allows companies to instil confidence and trust in them, which is one of their biggest challenges. For example, if you want to rent out your drilling machine on an asset-sharing platform and your equipment is damaged, trust and security is raised in that platform when the transaction is protected by insurance. To make that possible, we don’t only insure the actual tools being lent, but the entire transaction, and we cover liabilities that could arise out of that transaction.

AXA XL, NEAT, Casualty Insurance, Cyber, Reinsurance, Mukadder Erdoenmez, North America

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