Brokers reveal Australia's best insurers

Brokers reveal Australia's best insurers | Insurance Business

Brokers reveal Australia

The relationship between brokers and insurers can be strained at the best of times, with common complaints ranging from poor response times to questionable ethics.

However, when insurers get things right, brokers are quick to give positive feedback and often share stories of their experience with peers and colleagues.

This year’s Brokers on Insurers Survey includes sentiments from both ends of the spectrum and reviews range from the positively glowing through to the truly seething.

Conducted every year by Insurance Business, the Brokers on Insurers Survey sees brokers from across the country rate the performance of a selection of insurers currently operating in Australia. In order to keep the results relevant and timely, respondents were asked to rank only those they had dealt with in the last 12 months.

Eleven carriers were included in the survey – Allianz, AIG, AXA XL, Berkley, Berkshire Hathaway, CGU, Chubb, Hollard, QBE, Vero, and Zurich – with eleven separate categories to score. Brokers also rated the importance of each of these categories on the same five-point scale.

Starting from least important factor and ending with the most important, here’s how Australia’s insurers performed, according to brokers:

11. Brand recognition

Rank

Insurer

Score

1st

Allianz

4.21

2nd

CGU

4.11

3rd

QBE

4.06

4th

Vero

3.63

5th

Chubb

3.36

Industry average

2.98

Allianz, CGU and QBE all returned to the podium once again this year for their stellar performance in this field. However, there was some movement at the very top with Allianz reclaiming the gold medal that it lost to CGU in 2018.

10. Commission structure

Rank

Insurer

Score

1st

AIG

3.72

2nd

CGU

3.65

3rd

Allianz

3.53

4th

QBE

3.52

5th

Chubb

3.51

Industry average

3.24

This year, there was no movement among the top four insurers with AIG, CGU, Allianz and QBE all holding on to their 2018 spots. However, Chubb did manage to claim fifth place in 2019, knocking Zurich out of the ranking.

9. Product innovation

Rank

Insurer

Score

1st

Chubb

3.23

2nd

CGU

3.14

3rd

Berkley

3.03

4th

AIG

2.99

5th

Berkshire Hathaway

2.97

Industry average

2.88

This year, Chubb not only retained its gold medal but also managed to lift its overall score from the 3.21 it earned in 2018 to 3.23 in 2019.

CGU managed to climb one position to claim silver this year, after boosting its score to 3.03 from the 2.99 it earned in 2018.

8. Broker training and development

Rank

Insurer

Score

1st

Allianz

2.98

2nd

Vero

2.96

3rd

CGU

2.91

4th

QBE

2.83

5th

Chubb

2.77

Industry average

2.41

In addition to retaining their podium places, all three medal winners were also able to improve their performance – CGU’s score increased from 2.84 to 2.91, Vero’s from 2.90 to 2.96 and Allianz was able to climb from 2.92 to 2.98.

Despite the lacklustre performance, brokers are crying out for training and development opportunities – in fact, when asked what insurers could do to win more business in 2019, several brokers pointed to education as a key differentiator.

7. Product range

Rank

Insurer

Score

1st

QBE

3.68

2nd

Allianz

3.65

3rd

CGU

3.61

4th

Vero

3.46

5th

Chubb

3.40

Industry average

3.06

QBE was among those that showed significant improvement this year, climbing to the top spot after coming in fourth position in 2018. Allianz, too, earned an extra position, moving from third place to second and marginally boosting its score from 3.60 in 2018 to 3.61 this year.

6. BDM support

Rank

Insurer

Score

1st

QBE

3.13

2nd

Allianz

3.08

3rd

CGU

3.03

4th

Vero

2.87

5th

Chubb

2.78

Industry average

2.39

There was significant movement for QBE in this year’s ranking, with the insurer climbing two places to claim the gold medal for BDM support. In contrast, last year’s winner Vero fell off the podium altogether but did manage to secure a respectable fourth place.

5. Online platforms

Rank

Insurer

Score

1st

CGU

3.47

2nd

Vero

3.45

3rd

AIG

3.44

4th

Zurich

3.42

5th

QBE

3.41

Industry average

2.86

There was very little between the top performers when it came to online platforms – in fact, there was a difference of just 0.06 between gold medalist CGU and fifth-place insurer, QBE.

Coming in fifth in the ranking, it’s clear online platforms are important to brokers, despite a disappointing industry average of just 2.86 – one of the lowest averages of the survey.

4. Premium stability

Rank

Insurer

Score

1st

Chubb

3.32

2nd

Berkley

3.24

3rd

AIG

3.20

4th

Berkshire Hathaway

3.09

5th

Allianz

3.06

Industry average

3.02

Survey results were somewhat conflicting when it came to premium stability after the industry average was above a ‘satisfactory’ score yet 90% of brokers said insurer performance in the area has worsened over the last 12 months.

3. Turnaround time – new business

Rank

Insurer

Score

1st

AIG

3.38

2nd

Berkshire Hathaway

3.34

3rd

Berkley

3.33

4th

Chubb

3.29

5th

CGU

3.26

Industry average

3.18

The third most important area for brokers when dealing with insurers was identified at turnaround time for new business – and it seems insurers are performing reasonably well with an industry average of 3.18 out of 5.

2. Overall service level

Rank

Insurer

Score

1st

QBE

3.24

2nd

CGU

3.21

3rd

Allianz

3.18

4th

Chubb

3.17

5th

Berkshire Hathaway

3.14

Industry average

2.92

There was significant movement at the top this year, with QBE soaring from fifth-place position in 2018 to secure the gold medal this year.

CGU slipped slightly but still picked up the more-than-respectable silver medal while Allianz gained one position on last year, making it on to the podium.

1. Turnaround time – claims

Rank

Insurer

Score

1st

Chubb

3.43

2nd

CGU

3.39

3rd

Berkley

3.33

4th

Vero

3.21

5th

Allianz

3.20

Industry average

3.07

Chubb, which claimed the gold medal once again this year, was referred to as a “leader in settling cases” by one broker, with the insurer earning an overall score of 3.43 out of 5.

CGU climbed from the third-place position it earned in 2018 to secure a silver medal this year while Berkley rounded out the podium with the bronze medal.

Insurer of the year

Rank

Insurer

Score

1st

CGU

3.31

2nd

Allianz

3.29

3rd

QBE

3.24

4th

Vero

3.19

5th

Chubb

3.16


After claiming a total of nine medals – one gold, five silver, and three bronze – CGU was once again crowned Insurer of the Year by Australian brokers. Incredibly, it’s a feat the insurer has managed to achieve four times in just five years.

Coming in second place was Allianz, with six medals – two gold, two silver, and two bronze – the insurer put in an impressive performance this year, losing out to CGU by only a fraction, with just 0.02 separating the two front runners.

Finally, coming in at third place, is QBE after picking up three gold medals – the most of any insurer in the survey – as well as one bronze medal.

Rounding out the top five were Vero and Chubb, which earned scores of 3.19 and 3.16 respectively.