AXA and the Universal Postal Union (UPU), a UN-backed specialist agency, have teamed up to expand inclusive insurance through postal networks.  

This initiative targets lower-to-middle-income households and small businesses, leveraging the last-mile reach of postal services. 

AXA said postal networks are key to enhancing global financial inclusion, with more than a quarter of adults worldwide accessing formal financial services via their local post office.  

These networks are positioned to serve remote populations, including those in the informal economy, due to their last-mile distribution capabilities. 

The trend towards postal insurance services is on the rise, with 53% of postal services offering insurance in 2021, compared with 38% in 2016.  

AXA and UPU will commence their alliance in Q2 2024 with a research programme.  

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This initiative will highlight successful postal insurance models globally, providing insights and best practices for postal operators and insurers. 

Following the research phase, the partnership will establish the Postal Insurance Technical Assistance Facility (PITAF).  

PITAF’s mission will be to offer technical and financial assistance to local postal services, enabling them to introduce, expand or diversify inclusive insurance offerings.  

By combining UPU’s postal network with AXA’s expertise in insurance, PITAF aims to enhance financial inclusion and risk management for underserved communities. 

AXA CEO Thomas Buberl said: “Inclusive insurance is at the heart of AXA’s new #UnlockTheFuture strategic plan, with an ambition to protect over 20 million customers around the world by 2026. Through this partnership with the Universal Postal Union, AXA reiterates its solid commitment to push the boundaries of insurance to better protect all.” 

Universal Postal Union director-general Masahiko Metoki said: “This collaboration with AXA comes at a pivotal moment for the UPU as we work more closely with private sector partners to exchange knowledge, innovate, and ensure that postal financial services become more inclusive to meet the needs of customers.  

“Capitalising on the UPU’s expansive network of postal operators and AXA’s expertise, this partnership helps lay the groundwork for a flourishing and inclusive postal insurance sector.” 

Last week, AXA XL, a division of AXA, unveiled a new cyber insurance endorsement catering to US public companies.