Pensions & Health

AXA Healthcare establishes itself on the Swiss Market

N. Elser (Head of AXA Healthcare; left) congratulates the family M. together with M. Chresta (General Agent Wil; 2nd from the right) and O. Barrasa (Specialist Healthcare Advisor; right)
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Health and healthcare are two of the top topics for both the Swiss population and AXA. Around four years after the launch of AXA Healthcare on the Swiss health insurance market, the business area is celebrating its 100,000th customer. Head of Healthcare Switzerland Niklas Elser visited the lucky family, asked them about their motives for taking out the policy, and explains in the interview what AXA does differently to its competition. 

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    About Niklas Elser

    Niklas Elser took over as Head of Healthcare Switzerland from March 2021. He has worked for AXA since 2017 and was previously responsible for strategy and innovation.

Niklas Elser, you had the chance to congratulate family M. from Ermatingen on being the “100,000th customer of AXA Healthcare.” What significance does this have for you and your business area?

For the entire team and me, it was of course a huge moment. Healthcare is a very important issue – for the Swiss population and for us as a company, too. When AXA Healthcare was launched as a startup on July 1, 2017, we were faced with a difficult starting position. We entered an already saturated Swiss market for health insurance, with very strong and very good competitors. So despite our drive and high level of motivation, the decision to take this step was thus a gutsy one. It was clear to us that we had to consistently focus on our strengths. Our existing, extensive customer base in property and life insurance, our reliable AXA brand, the global experience of the AXA Group, the strongest sales force in the entire industry, and, in particular, our unique business model itself, of course. However, this milestone was thanks first and foremost to the joint effort of the employees involved, who always put our customers first. For this reason, it was all the nicer for me to hear during my conversation with the family M. that our efforts came across.

Congratulations! You are the 100,000th customer of AXA Healthcare! Why did you choose us?

For us, it mainly has to do with trust. As a family, comprehensive healthcare is a top priority. It is important for us to know that we have the best possible protection and, at the same time, that our concerns are taken seriously and taken care of reliably. During our consultation, both of our AXA advisors addressed all of the points that are essential and relevant to us as well as our needs. We felt we were in excellent hands and that we received a great overall package: In terms of supplementary insurance, we have better benefits than with the competition, and thanks to the switching service, we save several hundred francs a year in basic insurance. That means we pay less and get more, a virtually unbeatable combination. Nevertheless: For us, trust is the decisive factor. We have been satisfied customers of AXA for around 20 years and trust in this partnership.  

Niklas Elser, you talk about the Swiss market for health insurance being saturated. How does AXA Healthcare set itself apart from its competition?

Let’s start with the fact that we don’t offer basic insurance. We are not purely a health insurer, which is why we can fully concentrate on developing the best supplementary benefits on the market. This works well, which is evidenced by the three number one positions that we have been awarded by the SonntagsZeitung and the VZ VermögensZentrum in this year alone. With regard to basic insurance, we are the only provider on the market who can offer our customers switching, invoice, and legal protection service. That has direct advantages for them: They no longer have to decide to have basic and supplementary insurance with one health insurance provider – easy but often more expensive – or to split basic and supplementary insurance themselves – less expensive but time-consuming. With AXA, both are possible since we take care of the switch to the lowest-cost basic insurance, and at the same time are the sole input channel for all invoices for which our customers must make advance payment. This is greatly appreciated: Thanks to AXA, our customers have saved over 50 million francs in basic insurance premiums since 2017 – 35,000 have made the switch in this year alone.  And here, it is also irrelevant whether the premium was lower or higher on average – a switch pays off in most cases!

But we will take it a step further: Next year, we will launch new innovative offers on the market and start connecting health and pension provision. In other words, real healthcare. And here we can develop an additional strength: Our extensive expertise as the market leader in private pension provision. However, we will stay true to our policyholders as the reliable health insurance provider they have come to trust. Starting with comprehensive advice from our sales force right through to top products and digital services, and the best experience in customer contact and benefits payment. 

Does the Swiss market really need another provider with AXA?

I am convinced that health will remain a major issue in Switzerland, as will pension provision. And we as AXA have the right solutions. If we better combine healthcare and pension provision in the future, then our policyholders will profit directly with a broader and more innovative product range that is tailored to their needs. To me, the fact that we have achieved the first milestone of 100,000 customers clearly shows that we are being well received. Going forward, we have a strong team, a clear plan, and momentum on our side to take advantage of the many opportunities. This is why I am looking with enthusiasm to the future. We are here to stay.

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