BT Financial Group (BTFG) has been named as the Platinum Winner of the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA)/ Strategic Insight (SI) Life Company of the Year Awards.
The awards, announced in Sydney last night, also saw BTFG named as the winner in the Income Protection and Claims Team of the Year categories.
The award is a second and consecutive win for BTFG having also been named as the Platinum winner last year. TAL, MLC, OnePath were named as runners-up in the Platinum Award.
BTFG’s consecutive wins are the only second such occurrence in the 11 year history of the award with TAL winning the award in 2011 and 2012.
“The AFA/SI Life Company of the Year Awards are based on independent quantitative research conducted by Strategic Insight, Actuaries and Researchers, resulting from three separate investigations during the year,” AFA Chief Executive, Brad Fox said.
“Each life insurer is individually assessed on a range of criteria and then measured against other insurers. In 2016, it was BT that once again ranked ahead of its peers,” Fox said.
Strategic Insight, Head of Sales, Marketing and Product Development, Rael Solomon said, “The retail life insurance market continues to be driven by a high level of competition between all life companies, resulting in innovation in not only products, but also in the aspects of underwriting, customer service and adviser training.”
“Health and wellness has become a major theme and is already playing a part in the benchmarking which Strategic Insight applies to providers and their products,” Solomon said.
BTFG, Head of Life Operations, Scott Moffitt said the awards recognised the life insurance team’s efforts to be the market leader in customer service and product innovation.
“The three awards that BT collected together reinforce our longstanding dedication to giving quality service to our customers, particularly at claim time when it matters most, as well as our drive to bring to market the best products,” Moffitt said.
While the awards cover risk, investment bond and annuity and income stream products they also include service awards in the areas of underwriting, claims and business support services.
These awards are determined exclusively from adviser feedback collected from an extensive joint AFA and riskinfo database, which is then analysed by the Beddoes Institute.
Of these awards BTFG won the Claims Team of the Year award while Zurich won the Underwriting and New Business Team of the Year, and BDM/Business Support Services Team of the Year awards.
In total, 13 awards were presented at the black tie event, including the client service team awards.
Platinum Award – 2016 Life Company of the Year
Winner: BT Financial Group
Finalists: TAL, MLC, OnePath
Service Quality Award
Finalists: Zurich, AIA Australia, BT Financial Group
Winner: OnePath – OneCare Life Cover Plan
Finalists: AMP Elevate – Life Insurance Plan, Asteron – Life Cover Plan
Winner: OnePath – Trauma Premier Plan
Finalists: TAL – Critical Illness Premier Plan, CommInsure – Total Care Trauma Plan, AMP Financial Services – Trauma Optimum Plan
Income Protection Award
Winner: BT – Income Protection Plus Plan
Finalists: AMP Elevate – Income Insurance Premier Plan, TAL – Income Protection Premier Plan
Risk Product Innovation Award
Winner: CommInsure – Back to Wellness Program
Finalists: AIA Adviser Logic, Zurich Curriculum for Adviser Training
Investment Bond Award
Finalists: IOOF, Australian Unity
Overall Annuity Provider of the Year
Long Term Income Stream Award
Annuity & Income Stream Innovation Award
Winner: Comminsure – Death Benefit Guarantee
Client Service Team Awards
Underwriting and New Business Team of the Year
Finalists: Asteron Life, BT Financial Group
Claims Team of the Year
Winner: BT Financial Group
Finalists: One Path, Zurich
BDM/Business Support Services Team of the Year
Finalists: AMP, TAL
Platinum winners since the inception of this Award have been:
2016: BT Financial Group
2015: BT Financial Group
2010: TOWER/CommInsure (Joint winners)
2008: Asteron/Aviva (Joint winners)