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AI Tool Accelerates AXA Commercial’s Response to RAAC Issue

  • Customers potentially impacted by the RAAC issue are identified in just hours
    using powerful AI tool
  • More than 70,000 documents scanned to search for key words
  • Whole process completed in a week instead of 12 months when carried out
    manually

When the potential danger of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) was highlighted, AXA Commercial knew its customers needed to know whether buildings they owned or occupied were impacted – and fast.

That meant reviewing more than 70,000 multi-page documents for mentions of RAAC from our in-house risk engineers following visits to customer sites, a job that would have taken at least 12 months to complete manually.

However, AXA Commercial was able to check the documents in just a few hours to identify which buildings were at risk thanks to cutting-edge AI technology that was quickly trained to understand the concept of RAAC construction and identify the affected buildings.

Initial checks identified 65 cases as potentially containing RAAC. After a detailed desktop review of the reports, four were confirmed. The whole process took just one week, and AXA Commercial’s underwriters are now working with the impacted customers to discuss next steps and how AXA can provide continued support.

RAAC is a lightweight form of concrete used from the 1950s to the mid-1990s which is weaker and less durable than standard concrete. More than 100 schools in England and Wales were forced to close buildings after it was identified in their construction.

Dougie Barnett, Director of Customer Risk Management at AXA Commercial, said: “This was a situation where speed was of the essence – our customers were concerned about their buildings, and we were able to provide reassurance about which ones were at risk.

“Using the AI tool enabled us to react quickly to an urgent issue, rapidly reviewing thousands of pieces of data to identify those customers whose buildings could have been constructed using RAAC.

“Our customers are our priority, and we are constantly exploring ways to use new technologies to improve and enhance our processes. This powerful AI tool has shown it has the potential to revolutionise admin-heavy tasks of unstructured data and allow us to respond rapidly when needed.”

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