Visualising the London Riots at AXA UK

A Case Study of Combining Internal and External Data to Respond to a Catastrophe
by Craig Beattie, November 15, 2012
Case Studies


This case study examines how AXA UK used data to help address the unique challenges of the riots that rapidly swept across cities in England in 2011.

Catastrophes such as the riots are unpredictable and, thankfully, rare in the UK. By definition, one can respond to crises, but one can’t prepare for the unique challenges each one brings. The capacity to capture and leverage data in real time is changing the insurance industry. The data can come from any number of sources, but it is how it is brought together and visualised that allows insurers to better help their customers and other stakeholders.

In the report Visualising the London Riots at AXA UK: A Case Study of Combining Internal and External Data to Respond to a Catastrophe, Celent examines the unique nature of the riots and the steps AXA UK took to serve its customers and to protect its shareholders. Specifically, AXA offered great customer service to existing clients as well as a view of total exposure much earlier than is typical in these events and allowed the insurer to fully understand the liability of the UK government for their losses under the Riots (Damages) Act 1886.

“Access to data, when it was needed and in a visualisation that is readily understood by staff, provided the team at AXA with the right understanding and necessary insights to enable them to respond to this crisis,” says Craig Beattie, an analyst with Celent’s Insurance Group and author of the report.

If there is one key takeaway from AXA’s response to the England riots, it is communication. Communication enabled the insurer to respond both internally and externally—in this case, communicating with Mapflow in getting the data to the right people when it was needed, but also in finding a win-win scenario with customers, ultimately reaching out and helping customers affected during these very difficult times.

This 19-page report contains five figures and three tables.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is part of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

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Europe (London)

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary





About AXA Commercial in the UK



About Mapflow



The London Riots and the England Riots


The Challenge for AXA



Responding to Crises



The Unique Challenge of the Riots


The Process



Data Sources



Bringing the Data Together



Reaching Out to Customers


Benefits and Key Success Factors


Lessons Learned



Upfront Investment in the Tool: Accessibility and Visualisation




Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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