Testimonies

AXA Assistance is fully committed to meeting its customers’ every need. All AXA Assistance employees and their providers ensure attentive, empathetic support and a rapid response, to look after you in all circumstances. This section presents various testimonies from our customers, experts and various partners: in ”Two paths cross”, two stakeholders recount their mutual experience; in “Expert Testimonies”, an AXA Assistance expert presents a specific domain; while Our ”Corporate Responsibility Initiatives” relate various corporate responsibility undertakings led by AXA Assistance.

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Lisa, victim of the Nepal Earthquake, tells her story

The SOLIMED project: an incredible chain of solidarity

Jean Karmarz, Director of Health at AXA Assistance, discusses the Second Medical Opinion service

Raphaël Marchand, Head of Safety for AXA Assistance, discusses Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

Dr Cai Glushak, International Medical Director at AXA Assistance, discusses the Ebola epidemic

Proud to break new boundaries

A taste for adventure

Raphaël Marchand, Head of Safety for AXA Assistance, discusses Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

Is business continuity planning (BCP) essentially a matter of anticipation?

Thinking ahead is fundamental to crisis management. All our companies apply standard crisis management procedures. However, after the tsunami of 2005, we wanted to go a step further and include a significant business continuity response. Training in real-life conditions is a vital part of our preparations. The more we prepare well in predictable situations, the more effective we will be in handling unpredictable events. The same applies to BCP; we test our plans in real-life conditions whenever possible.

What do this crisis exercices consist of?

All our companies must deploy a crisis simulation based on the real risks present in its environment. A retired General helps us write a detailed, seven-hour crisis script. On the day of the simulation, the crisis is acted out as realistically as possible. Team members thus experience the real pressure associated with this kind of event, which makes them much more receptive to advice when they are debriefed.

How do you determine whether or not a company is ready to handle a crisis?

Our certification system ensures that all AXA Assistance companies, in all 33 countries, are fully prepared. Any company that fails to make the grade must implement further training. 
Each company is responsible for tailoring its BCP to its local context, which clearly varies greatly from Thailand to Canada or Belgium... What's more, companies in hurricane-belt countries must be able to manage a crisis and deploy their BCP at the same time.

 

Examples from Algeria and Thailand

At AXA Assistance, we are well trained in anticipating risks. Although all business continuity plans (BCPs) have similar aims, the details must always be tailored to each individual company.

 

NETWORK SYNERGIES
In late 2012, fire destroyed the premises of Algeria’s leading telephone operator – the very network used by the AXA Assistance platform in Algeria. The BCP was deployed a mere three hours after the incident. Call handlers from the AXA Assistance platform in France were assigned to handle calls made to Algeria, until they were relieved by three of their Algerian colleagues who arrived that very evening. In all, five Algerian call handlers took turns to maintain service, with support from AXA Assistance France. The BCP was lifted two weeks later, once the telephone network had been repaired. Connectivity between teams successfully maintained business continuity, as our customers can testify.

 

FLEXIBILITY
Thailand’s approach to business continuity was somewhat different. Because of traffic congestion and the risk of political disturbance in Bangkok, Asia’s largest AXA Assistance company (160 employees) was already housed on two different sites. Given the surge in political violence in late 2013, AXA Assistance decided to secure its business continuity by deploying the BCP. Once customers had been informed, the teams working closest to the disturbances were moved out to the suburbs, into offices that were rented on a yearly lease. The employees concerned were lodged in nearby hotels, to avoid long commutes and exposure to risk. The BCP was lifted in February 2014, when the situation calmed down. Employees appreciated the fact that the BCP facilitated their working conditions.