AXA focuses on microinsurance projects that address social exclusion while being breakeven in the long term, by enabling vulnerable segments of the population to access insurance services. Current initiatives include the following:
- France: AXA, in partnership with the Association pour le Droit à l'Initiative Economique (which helps people excluded from the usual circuits set up their own business) and a French mutual insurer, MACIF, offers since 2007 basic covers sold at cost. Three policies are available: two Comprehensive Business Insurance packages for entrepreneurs starting up either at home or on dedicated business premises, a Motor Policy and a Business Liability offer. The average premiums are less than 1 euro per day. As the pilot projects revealed an encouraging trend, the offer was extended nationwide in early 2009. As of 2011, the product is maintained despite slow growth. This genuine microinsurance product (not just a low cost offer) is relatively unique in a developed economy. However, this experience reveals the need for more insurance education targeting this segment of population.
- India: after a three years investigation, product design and partnership phase, AXA microinsurance (Personal Accident& Health) products were launched in 2009. In 3 years, including a 2009 pilot phase, 1.7M lives were insured and sold through different networks of NGOs, community groups or mobile phone retail distributors.
- Mexico: In 2010, AXA's local entity started offering the "AXA Contigo" microinsurance card-based product (Fire, Assistance, Motor Robbery lump sum compensations), as well as the "Tarea microlife" insurance product with scholarships distributed via a local partner. These products' growth remains relatively slow to date.
AXA invests in certain microfinance projects for which it can provide its expertise as a leading financial protection group, contributing to the development of populations by combating financial exclusion. This also represents a first step towards microinsurance. Alongside these efforts, the Group is investing directly in various organizations specializing in solidarity finance. These include investments in the Global Commercial Microfinance Consortium, the International Finance Corporation, the Société d'Investissement France Active, the Association pour le Droit à l'Initiative Economique, Habitat et humanisme, as well as investments in social housing schemes in the USA.
Global Commercial Microfinance Consortium
In 2005, AXA joined forces with several international investors (Merrill Lynch, Storebrand, CNP Assurances, HP, Cisco, State Street Corporation) and national development agencies (Agence Française de Développement, UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, etc.) to launch the Global Commercial Microfinance Consortium. This was a dedicated 75 million dollar investment fund for microfinance institutions in India, Pakistan, Peru, Kosovo, Mozambique and Nicaragua, providing loans to small-scale entrepreneurs and self-employed workers such as small storekeepers or farmers, drawing on grassroots networks of local people that have already been clearly identified in previous programs. In 2013, building on its first investment in Consortium I, AXA committed again to a $20M investment to support the broader Consortium II fund.