Best Insurance Companies in Australia |
Brokers on Insurers

Standard setters

What brokers value most about the best insurance companies in Australia may shift in response to evolving consumer demand and market trends. However, one thing remains constant: the importance of trust and reliability in their insurer partnerships.

For IB’s 2024 Brokers on Insurers report, the nation’s broking community evaluated the performance of 12 prominent players they’ve recently done business with across 11 time-tested metrics.

The top three insurance companies overall, along with the leading trio in each category, received gold, silver and bronze awards, underscoring brokers’ dynamic priorities:

  • broker communication, training and development have become the top priority, a dramatic rise from ninth place in 2023

  • turnaround times for new business and claims ascended significantly in importance to second and fifth place, respectively

  • product range and innovation tied for third place, highlighting an increasing interest in capturing emerging client scenarios and niche markets 


Australia’s best insurance companies have garnered kudos from brokers, including two industry leaders who have firmly established themselves as trusted brands in an increasingly competitive market.


Australia’s best insurance companies shine for service and innovation

Berkley Insurance Australia
Making value a priority for brokers and clients

The gold medal winner overall staked its success on providing exceptional service, expertise, security and support.

While all of 2024’s top insurance companies focus on these aspects, Berkley Insurance Australia (BIA) distinguishes itself by ensuring its operations add value to these points.

That steadfast commitment resulted in an impressive medal haul, with BIA handily besting competitors to secure gold in 10 out of 11 categories.

With service enhancement through online systems, there is a temptation to view this as a cost-saving opportunity. The company instead aims to use these advancements to deliver improved experiences for brokers and customers.

“It is why we have our state-based underwriting teams as the point of contact for all businesses, whether it comes through a system or on an offer-and-acceptance basis,” says CEO Tony Wheatley. “To save costs, we could have a centralised service team for online business, but at BIA, the broker deals with the same person with broad authority to respond.” 


Tony Wheatley, Berkley Insurance Australia
“We feel it’s important for brokers to deal with local underwriters who understand their market, can meet with them regularly and have a reasonable discussion if there are any pressing issues”
Tony WheatleyBerkley Insurance Australia


This relentless pursuit of new ways to add value sets BIA apart, along with the following:

  • expanding its reach via the bindIT online system to include a professional indemnity product in 2024


  • leveraging BIA’s broader expertise to launch new products, such as one focused on the life sciences industry


  • renewing its focus on expanding and developing new partnerships within the MGA space, supported by a dedicated and newly rebranded team that works with its current 16 partner MGAs


“We struggle to see value in expanding to product lines where there are many options open to brokers, and we have avoided the temptation to expand into some of the more traditional classes,” Wheatley says. “We are looking for niche areas where brokers have limited options, and we can add expertise and stability over the long term.”

Embedded in the industry’s future

A strategic focus on its core specialties has solidified the company’s status as the silver medalist, prevailing in over half the performance metrics evaluated by brokers.

Vero’s head of distribution, Anthony Pagano, highlights the importance of finding common ground and working collaboratively with broker partners to achieve mutual success. That involves listening to brokers, acting purposefully and aligning their goals.

“Our people are critical to all of this,” he says. “There’s no point in having these great relationships if we don’t have the right people delivering expertise, whether underwriting or risk and a consistently exceptional claims experience.” 


Anthony Pagano, Vero
“The state-based model is something we’ll continually invest in because it’s important to us to be on the ground; people like dealing with people they know and trust”
Anthony PaganoVero


The top insurer also earned praise from brokers for leveraging technology to streamline processes and positively influencing the industry by:

  • revolutionising how brokers approach their SME and commercial packages with an online, yes-no broker platform that offers upfront quotes and immediate pricing decisions


  • offering a one-touch claims platform where approximately 25% of claims can be settled and closed within a short timeframe, sometimes within 15 minutes


  • sponsoring development programs, including the Future Ready You program for its female leaders, a national roadshow of broker forums on relevant topics, and the Learning Gateway for industry newcomers

“This is a people business, and we invest in our partnerships with brokers and others because relationships matter,” says Pagano. “We sponsor the Young Broker of the Year award with the National Insurance Brokers Association because we want to embed excellence and nurture the success of future leaders.”


Brokers share perspectives on challenges and expectations

Despite signs of stabilisation, survey respondents grumbled about slow processing times and insurers’ limited appetite and capacity during what was another challenging year.

Regarding the challenges encountered when dealing with insurers, brokers noted the following:

  • “Limited risk appetites with some industries unable to be insured anymore.”

  • “Underwriters are forever changing guidelines.”


  • “Lack of care from insurers. They say, ‘That’s the premium, and that’s our decision; take it or leave it.’”


Brokers also proposed suggestions on how Australia’s insurers could improve communication and fair pricing:

  • “Bring balance to the industry; it is heavily weighted by the underwriters.”

  • “Pick up the phone to discuss risks and help the broker find mutually beneficial outcomes.”


  • “Reassess premium rates and provide stability across the board.”


One broker succinctly says, “We would like more phone calls, training and development, and working together to service clients.”

Vero and BIA have acknowledged this clarion call as the impetus for their industry-leading status.

“We’re a large insurer, but we’re the eyes and ears of the local customer and broker; there’s always someone to address opportunities or problems at the community level,” says Vero’s Pagano.

And BIA’s Wheatley says, “Our focus has always been to have our underwriters as close to the brokers as possible and provide them with the authority to manage the business that comes to them.”

Turnaround times draw ire from brokers

While some positive comments indicate improvements or stability in turnaround times on claims, a significant number of brokers reported a worsening trend. Brokers often mentioned staff shortages and inefficiencies in the claims process as culprits.

Turnaround times on claims over the last 12 months

  • Worsened: 70%

  • Improved: 30%


Brokers noted:

  • “There are more claims each year, and the number of claims handlers with experience and training is not growing.”

  • “Worsened due to the natural disasters that have occurred, making them all busier.”

  • “Improvement is slight but still below consumer expectations.”


Regarding turnaround times for new business enquiries, survey data showed brokers divided, suggesting room for improvement. 

Turnaround times on new business over the last 12 months

  • Worsened: 57%

  • Improved: 43%


Respondents’ feedback included:

  • “Most insurers tend to respond, especially when it is a decline.”

  • “We have seen improvements; however, it can be hit or miss.”

  • “Referrals take forever.”


BIA won two golds in the turnaround times categories.

CEO Wheatley says, “We’ve made our internal processes and systems as efficient as possible to improve the broker and customer experience.”

To illustrate that, Wheatley explains that a single-entry system enables information to flow from quote to issue with few touch points, along with their underwriters’ dedication to turning quotes around quickly.

Competitive premiums on brokers’ wish lists

All of 2024’s best insurance companies endeavour to maintain a fair and reasonable level of premium increases, which some respondents welcomed. But, overall, rising premiums remain a concern for a majority of brokers:

Premium stability over the last 12 months

  • Worsened: 67%

  • Improved: 33%


BIA claimed gold for premium stability, and CEO Wheatley asserts, “There is no doubt inflation has impacted claims costs, and we have to accommodate that. However, we have tried to avoid those classes that require kneejerk reactions to pricing to achieve positive results, and I think that is what the survey response shows.”

A broker says, “Premium increases have made it more challenging to retain and win new business.”

BDMs build bridges

The poll results about BDM support over the last 12 months indicate a wide gap between brokers’ expectations and the service and support they are receiving from their insurer partners:

BDM support

  • Worsened: 76%

  • Improved: 24%


Brokers highlighted several key issues:

  • “We have lost two BDMs due to retirement. However, they have not been replaced.”

  • “As a regional broker who can’t send staff to training days in the city, we rely on this communication to improve our service to clients and develop staff knowledge.”

  • “It’s the same as before. Some BDMs stand out, while others refer you to the underwriter.”

  • “It seems many insurers are implementing teams rather than a dedicated BDM, which can be frustrating. Every time you have a query, you are dealing with a different person.”


For Vero’s Pagano, consistently delivering exceptional expertise and a claims experience that brokers and customers have come to rely on are the foundation of its leading-edge service.

“Every year, we survey customers’ thoughts and opinions about how their businesses have been impacted or influenced by insurance, and we share those insights with brokers, so they have the tools and resources they need to succeed,” he says.

Best Insurance Companies in Australia |
Brokers on Insurers

Insurer of the Year
  • Allianz
BDM support
  • Liberty Specialty Markets
  • Allianz
Brand recognition and reputation
  • Allianz
  • QBE
Broker communication, training and development
  • Allianz
Commission structure
  • AIG
  • Allianz
Online platforms and services
  • CGU
Overall service level
  • Liberty Specialty Markets
Premium stability
  • AIG
Product innovation
  • Liberty Specialty Markets
  • Chubb
Product range
  • QBE
  • Allianz
Turnaround time – claims
  • Liberty Specialty Markets
  • AIG
Turnaround time – new business
  • Liberty Specialty Markets
  • Allianz


Brokers from across the nation were invited to rate the performance of a selection of insurers currently operating in Australia. To ensure the results were relevant and timely, respondents were asked to rate only those insurers they had dealt with in the past 12 months.

Twelve insurers were rated by brokers in this year’s survey: AIG, Allianz, AXA XL, Berkley Insurance Australia, Berkshire Hathaway, CGU, Chubb, Hollard Commercial, Liberty Specialty Markets, QBE, Vero and Zurich. The brokers rated each insurer’s performance on a scale of 1 (very poor) to 5 (very good) across 11 different categories.

For each category, the insurers were ranked in order of merit according to an average score calculated from a tally of their ratings. The top three companies in every category received a gold, silver or bronze medal. The insurers’ combined average score from all categories determined the medalists for Insurer of the Year.

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