AXA is entering the farm insurance market in Ireland, launching a range of products targeted at farmers and their families.
The new products, which will be available across the country through branches, farm advisors, brokers and online, will cover all standard farm insurance categories together with a range of items and services that AXA says are 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.
Antoinette McDonald, director of Direct Distribution and Customer Experience at AXA, said 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 telephone service. We will also assist customers through our nation-wide brokerage system, through our online service, and in our branch network.”
Minister for Agriculture and Food, Michael Creed, welcomed the AXA announcement saying: “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.
Mr Doherty said: “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 (e.g. 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.”