Zurich Wins CoreData Adviser Award

Zurich has been announced as CoreData’s Risk Company of the Year for 2008.

This new award is based on feedback from almost 1,000 financial advisers across Australia, where each company was assessed against ten categories as well as other service elements.

AIG Life took second place in the Award, followed by the other two finalists, AXA and Asteron.

Commenting on Zurich’s win, CoreData Partner, Craig Phillips, said, “With less direct distribution than some of the major groups in the market there is a sense in the market that Zurich has been contracting over the past year or so, however what the research shows is for the core of advisers who do use it is that service levels are high.”

Regarding service levels in general, Mr Phillips observed “This is not the time for insurers to become complacent in their service delivery; advisers are looking to write more and more insurance business in the current environment.  So anything impeding their ability to effectively and efficiently do this will be detrimental to risk provider comparative growth rates.”

CoreData believes effective and efficient service delivery is critical, because its research has shown that 44% of planners expect to increase the amount of insurance they write in 2009, with one in eight expecting to increase significantly and one in three expecting to increase somewhat.

Mr Phillips also commented on the approach taken towards insurance by consumers: “More consumers are seeing the merit of insurance and this is shifting the paradigm that insurance is only ever sold not bought.”  Mr Phillips sees personal insurance is following superannuation as ‘creeping into the mainstream and consumer mindset’ , by way of a mixture of push/pull factors such as:

  • Clients seeking to cover themselves to a greater degree in uncertain times – particularly in income protection.
  • Many adviser groups proactively focussing on providing more insurance advice over the past year.

From Zurich’s perspective, Strategic Marketing Manager Life Risk, Marc Fabris, said that “It is pleasing to once again be recognised by research that is based directly on feedback from advisers. This follows our Five Star rating from WA Taylor, as well as the AFA/Plan for Life Service Quality Award. Clearly service is key in the risk business, and although we realise there is still much more to do, it’s great to be recognised for our efforts over the last few years.”

  • Concerned

    I mentioned this after Part 1 of this series – why are there no risk advisers on this panel? But as usual, such comments from advisers are ignored! It’s not about holding a positive or negative view of the future. the industry WILL die unless LIF is amended. Reinstate commissions and get rid of this evil 2 year clawback period. Unless this message gets through, such panels are a non event! I challenge a few insurance companies to organise panels of risk only advisers – those of us who actually deal with everyday Australians. Or are you scared of uncovering the truth?

    • Squeaky_1

      ‘Concerned’, mate, are you mad?! Putting risk advisers on this panel would have changed the whole agenda from “What works best for the client” to “what works best for us as industry entities”. The life company is currently the prime enemy of the adviser (whether you know it or not) AND the client. The only reason they pay anything but lip-service to the client is because it looks bad not to do so – oh, and it is law to consider the client best interest. I’ve been privy to private life company exec conversations more than once and, believe me, they do not care about the client beyond meeting the min level of the law. Well, client-best-interest is certainly not happening, given the 2 year claw back putting advisers out of business when properly reviewing policies and changing things for the benefit of the client due to unreasonable and inexplicable HUGHE premium increases. WTF???
      The life companies and the idiot government departments controlling the state of play have forced ME and many other advisers of which I am aware, out after 33 years or more of looking after clients with full duty of care. I now refuse to write new business (except under exceptional circumstances where the client best interest demands it) earn income, invest it into my business and THEN have it clawed back within 2yrs due to the life company increasing premiums unreasonably. I will not engage in that and simply refuse to continue after I turn 60 in Dec 2020. I am biding my time serving my clients until then – then I am OUT. This clawback is and INSULT and UNTENABLE for a small business. How can you possibly plan future expansion. hiring etc if income can be snatched back without waring at any timne within 2 years of earning it? F**k that!!
      Self interested corporate and govt sub-creatures have stuffed this industry and I refuse to play that game for any longer than necessary. My clients will be the losers, sadly, corporate execs whoi do noit have the charge-back clause affect THEIR income and not the govt ministers whose benefits and superannuation is well assured from my and MY CLIENTS taxes!

      • Concerned

        Agree with your comments Squeaky, but for the record, I am not being naïve. Insurers, ASIC and the government all need to get the message as to how LIF is affecting advisers. In the meantime, I will publicly call out anyone who organises these types of panels via comments on Risk Info. When it all hits the fan in a year or so, they will realise they were warned and didn’t listen.

        • Squeaky_1

          Too right!!

        • Daryl La’ Brooy

          When the Life Insurance Framework (LIF) was agreed to the “Financial Review” ran the headline the next day on its front page that Advisers’income was going to fall by a quarter of a billion a year and we are all feeling the effects of that now!

  • Jeremy Wright

    It is refreshing to read that some of the main issues are at least being discussed at this Round Table.

    The trick will be to articulate in plain English, what has been discussed, to those who have an input into the future of the Retail Life Insurance Industry and demand verifiable proof of their supposed improvements.

    One little trick that is occurring from the Life Companies, that shows a lack of understanding, or care towards the future of the Retail Life Industry, is the current predilection of having a lower premium in year One ( which also pays less to the adviser ) and then premiums rising upwards of 10 to 20 percent in year 2 and again 10 to 20 percent in year 3 and so on.

    Australians will no longer tolerate this and if they cancel due to this disgraceful action from the Life Insurers, it is the Advisers who pay the price.

    Higher education is a mute discussion if there are insufficient Practices willing to employ people due to the RISK outweighing a potential reward, which has a 2 year wait before the money can be treated as Income.

  • Daryl La’ Brooy

    Rather than just taking it, some of us who intend to stay beyond the end of 2020 are now looking at radical moves like joining the Finance Sector Union (FSU) and having people like Nathan Rees, ex-NSW Premier who is part of the FSU represent us in Canberra if the Labor Party wins the next Federal Election. Advisers have already met with Federal Politicians in Canberra and presented them with a paper on why FASEA needs to be changed. We need all of you to join us in 2019 to take the fight to Canberra. Otherwise by 2024 our profession will look like the UK after the Retail Distribution Review commenced in 2013, more than 90% of advisers exited, numbers falling from 300,000 to 22,000 over 5 years! Join the Facebook Group AIOFP Community to have your say.