November 12, 2008
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.”