Winners of 2019 Life Company of the Year Awards Announced

SYDNEY: 14 November 2019 – TAL Life has scored a hat trick, taking the title of AFA Life Company of the Year for the third consecutive year at an event held in Sydney today.

TAL Life was announced as the overall 2019 Platinum Winner of the AFA Life Company of the Year Awards (the Awards) for 2019, with AIA Australia, MLC Life Insurance and OnePath Life runners up. AFA CEO Philip Kewin said, “Today we recognise those companies that have demonstrated an increased focus on improving consumer outcomes in areas where it matters – value, delivery, efficiency, cost, simplicity and transparency. We congratulate TAL Life on winning the platinum award, and all the winners and finalists of individual awards, who continue to deliver exceptional outcomes for advisers and their clients.”

Categories for the Awards include the overall AFA Life Company of the Year Awards, offered in conjunction with Plan for Life and the Client Service Team Awards, offered in conjunction with the Beddoes Institute and Riskinfo.

The Overall Life Company of the Year Awards
The overall Awards are based around Plan For Life’s Risk Products Benchmarking services, which benchmarks retail life insurers across five key metrics: financial strength, market share based on sales and growth over three years, product feature strength based on a review of over 90 product features and definitions, service quality and premium rate comparisons across a wide range of ages and sums assured. Industry innovation has also been recognised in this year’s awards.

Rael Solomon, Regional Managing Director, Plan for Life, said, “Although growth in the life insurance industry has remained flat over the last year, the life companies who have been recognised in each of the award categories demonstrated consistent performance and sustainability of rates, as well as making feature improvements to their products during 2019.”

The Client Service Team Awards
The Client Service Team Awards, which recognise outstanding underwriting, claims and BDM teams, are based on Beddoes’ Adviser Experience Benchmarking Study. An annual study that has been helping insurers for over ten years, it collates adviser ratings and feedback on their main insurance providers across all key touch-points between an adviser and insurer, including Underwriting, Product, BDMs, Business Support and Claims.

In the Client Service Team Awards, NEOS Life was announced Underwriting Team of the Year, OnePath Life won Claims Team of the Year and Zurich Financial Services Australia took out BDM Team of the Year.

Dr Rebecca Sheils, Director of the Beddoes Institute, said, “Our research findings indicate that insurers have made small but significant improvements across most business divisions, including Underwriting and Products, and particularly, BDM teams. This signals that insurers are proactive about developing strong and supportive adviser relationships, as well as honouring their commitments across the industry. The winning teams are those that have gone above and beyond, delivering an exceptional standard of service to optimise both the adviser and client experience.”

The winners and runners-up are:

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About the AFA
The Association of Financial Advisers Ltd (AFA) has been the authentic voice on the value of financial advice for over 65 years. Today, the AFA is a vibrant, innovative association, where the underlying driver of policy is the belief that great advice transforms lives. To this end the AFA is striving to achieve the vision of Great Advice for More Australians. The AFA’s ongoing relevance as a professional association is derived from our success in engaging with the major stakeholders in financial advice including advisers, consumers, licensees, product and service providers, and the regulator and government. Culturally we believe in the value of collaboration to create powerful outcomes and this drives how we achieve influence and work towards our vision.

About Plan for Life
Plan for Life is the leading financial services researcher covering Managed Funds, Retirement and Life Insurance in Australia. Founded in 1988 by Simon Solomon as an actuarial consultancy, Plan for Life grew into a research house specialising in Australian managed funds and life insurance data collection and reporting. In 2019 the business was purchased by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), the world’s leading provider of corporate governance and responsible investment (RI) solutions for asset owners, asset managers, hedge funds and asset services providers. Plan For Life provides critical data and insight to insurance companies, distributors and asset managers to help them make informed, strategic decisions to manage and grow their business.

About the Beddoes Institute
Beddoes Institute uses data, advanced analytics and AI technologies delivered through purpose-built technology platforms to provide data-driven products and solutions that address sector-wide problems and help large institutions and small corporates succeed. Data, technology, evidence-based practice and continuous business improvement is at the core of what we do. We work with primary data from survey-based research with advisers, claims customers, policyholders, advice practices, advice clients and consumers which gives us rich information on attitudes and experiences of advisers, customers and consumers of financial services. In addition, we also work with secondary big data across entire populations such as claims data and adviser data from insurers’ CRMs and data warehouses which gives us complimentary transactional and behavioural data. We link our multiple datasets to provide an unprecedented view of the market, an insurer’s key distribution channel, advisers, and the end-customer, and work with our clients closely to understand and tailor our data and insights delivery in the format and frequency that suits each company.

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