Visualising the London Riots at AXA UK

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15 November 2012

A Case Study of Combining Internal and External Data to Respond to a Catastrophe


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.