TAL Wins Life Company of the Year


TAL has been announced as the winner of the Plan For Life/AFA Life Company of the Year Platinum Award for 2021.

This marks the fifth win in a row for TAL, which clearly has an established and quality overall proposition, relative to its competitors, across areas including financial strength, product features, rates, premium volatility and client service levels – all of which are related metrics used to determine the overall winner of the Platinum Award each year.

the runners-up …are dominated by newer, potentially more agile players

Interestingly, the runners-up in the Platinum Award, who also feature prominently in a number of other award categories, are dominated by newer, potentially more agile players such as NEOS Life and PPS Mutual. MetLife also features more prominently in this year’s awards, having only re-entered the individual retail advice market in 2019.

MetLife, NEOS Life and PPS Mutual were the runners-up to TAL in the Platinum Award, while NEOS Life has taken out the sought-after overall Service Quality Award for the first time.

Client Service Teams

In the Client Service Team space – as voted by advisers via the Beddoes Institute’s annual Adviser Experience Benchmark Study, the team at NEOS Life took out both the Underwriting and BDM/Business Support Awards, repeating its 2020 success in both these categories. This recognition reinforces other industry research findings and anecdotal feedback, which points to NEOS Life seeking to differentiate itself from its competitors especially in the BDM and business support space.

Also noteworthy is the presence of ClearView as a finalist in all three of the client service team awards.

Meanwhile, AIA Australia, including former CommInsure claims team members, was the winner of the 2021 Claims Team Award.


In the product area, MetLife took out the Term/TPD Award, with NEOS Life getting the nod as the Trauma product award winner and TAL coming out on top with the Income Protection Insurance product award, in what was a challenging twelve months for all product teams across the sector.

PPS Mutual was the 2021 Risk Product Innovation Award winner for its profit share proposition for its policy holders, while Challenger walked away yet again with the top Annuity Provider Award.


Importantly, the entire premise of these well-regarded annual awards is built on a foundation of Plan For Life’s long-established Risk Products Benchmarking services, which are subscribed to by licensee firms and product manufacturers. Each retail life insurer is benchmarked across five key metrics:

  1. Financial strength and sustainability
  2. Market share based on sales and growth over three years
  3. Product feature strength based on a review of over 90 product features and definitions
  4. Premium rate comparisons across a wide range of ages and sums assured
  5. Service quality

A full list of 2021 winners and runners-up for these awards, first presented in 2006, is detailed in the table below:

Source: Association of Financial Advisers

Previous winners of the overall Platinum Award for Life Company of the Year are:

  • 2020: TAL Life
  • 2019: TAL life
  • 2018: TAL Life
  • 2017: TAL Life
  • 2016: BT Financial Group
  • 2015: BT Financial Group
  • 2014: TAL
  • 2013: CommInsure
  • 2012: TAL
  • 2011: TAL
  • 2010: TOWER/CommInsure (Joint winners)
  • 2009: CommInsure
  • 2008: Asteron/Aviva (Joint winners)
  • 2007: CommInsure
  • 2006: AXA