In a move which it claims will surprise no-one – what with credit hire costs indirectly adding an alleged 10% to the cost of the average motor policy – Axa Insurance has decided to “withdraw its support from” the ABI’s General Trading Agreement (GTA) for credit hire, with immediate effect.

Axa told Post Magazine this week that it has “developed a new operating model, which puts greater emphasis on claims ownership and the drive to take proactive and pragmatic actions to settle claims more quickly and effectively,” adding that it will “work closely with companies in a more collaborative engagement” and “is in discussions with a number of parties who have shown interest in its approach.”

Aside from the unsurprising bombshell at their kernel, these statements – replete as they may be with all the right words – tell us next to nothing about the Axa’s next move. Fear not: Axa claims honcho David Williams is on hand with timely clarification.

“We have been looking at a number of options for dealing with the growing number and cost of credit hire claims,” he explains. “Our new operating model means that an opportunity arises for us to work more closely with a number of CHOs who share our desire to take the frictional costs out of managing what should be straightforward claims. This has not been an easy decision but we believe it is the right one for our business and our customers. Credit hire comes in for regular and sometimes well deserved criticism but we believe that rather than wait for a solution to arise, we should drive our own agenda.”

When there’s talk of both ‘driving’ and ‘agendas,’ who needs details? Just supposing, however, you might happen to know more about Axa’s new operating model and the mysterious ‘number of parties’ with whom it plans to collaborate so closely and productively, we’re sure Post Magazine would be only too happy to hear.

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