AXA officially launches into farm insurance market

AXA is set to shake up competition in the farm insurance market with the official launch of its new farm insurance division today (Wednesday, July 4).

AXA, described as the country’s largest general insurance company, has launched a range of new insurance products targeted at farmers and their families which will be available across the country through branches, farm advisors, brokers and online.

The new products will cover all standard farm insurance categories together with a range of items and services not typically available – including insurance for additional business activities (such as guest houses) which many farm families have to undertake, and insurance for volunteer labourers who help out with farm enterprises.

The new division was launched today (Wednesday, July 4) by Minister for Agriculture and Food Michael Creed, Antoinette McDonald, director of direct distribution and customer experience at AXA, and Christy Doherty, head of farm at AXA.

Speaking today, McDonald said that the company had been preparing for a move into the farm sector for over a year.

The farm insurance market has been dominated by a small number of companies for too long.

“AXA wants to offer farmers new, innovative insurance products combined with excellent service, from a company they can trust.

“We have opened a specialist ‘Farm Centre’ in Athlone, with a dedicated agri-specialist telephony service. We will also assist customers through our nationwide brokerage system, our online service, and in our branch network,” she said.

Competition

Minister Creed welcomed the AXA announcement by saying that “competition in the farm insurance market is a positive and AXA is to be congratulated for this move.

I believe it will bring benefits in terms of price competitiveness and innovation to the marketplace which is good news for Irish farmers and their families.

The head of farm at AXA, Christy Doherty, said that the core AXA offering would be branded as AXA Smart Farm and would deliver farm-friendly products supported by “leading-edge technology” and service with tailored offers for different size farms.

“The lack of competition in this market has meant a lack of innovation and value for farmers. We have completed in-depth research to understand what farmers want and we have built the AXA products to meet those needs.

“Specific innovations, prompted by the research, include cover for the additional enterprises (for example, guest houses or farmers’ market) that many farm families undertake.

In addition, there is cover for voluntary helpers supporting the farm, office contents included in the farmhouse contents cover and extensive cover for outbuildings and contents to include: storms; theft; and accidental cover.

No claims discounts of up to 30% of the cost of the premium will also be available for new customers.

Initial products will include: property cover (for homes and farm property); livestock cover; cover for crops; milk and forestry; cover for agriculture vehicles; income protection and loss of income cover; and employers’ and public liability.

Cover with different offerings will also be available depending on the size of the farm (less than / more than 80ac).