What does it take to build a strong insurance brand?

Exploring the "strong moral obligation" to maintain underwriting underdiscipline

What does it take to build a strong insurance brand?

Insurance News

By Mia Wallace

Allianz has launched a “number one insurance brand in the world” campaign in the UK marketplace – a lofty claim but one it believes it can not only back up, thanks to Interbrand’s 2023 Best Global Brands ranking, but one that is quickly resonating with brokers and customers alike.

“We’ve got some fantastic products in both our direct and our broker propositions,” said Henry Topham (pictured), MD for Allianz Holdings’ UK retail business. “And we will be looking to continue to enhance our proposition over a period of time because we see a lot of opportunity in the personal lines market in the UK as we look to continue to grow the brand. There’s been a lot of hard work over the last 12-18 months, and it’s been keeping us all very busy, but it’s such an exciting time to be part of this truly global business.”

How Allianz is reshaping itself

Top of Topham’s agenda is blending the right internal and external processes to support the retail business and its team in navigating market conditions. Looking internally, he said, maintaining underwriting discipline throughout the entire underwriting cycle is a key area of focus. Allianz prides itself on being a very data-driven organisation, so getting that piece right means investing heavily in pricing analytics.

“That investment is critical if you want to be successful in this marketplace,” he said. “We do expect double-digit inflation this year in both home and motor. So, I think it’s important that insurance companies do everything they can to keep costs down.

“There are lots of different ways to do that but key for us is maintaining focus on anti-fraud measures and continuing to be selective around pricing, which means maintaining our own underwriting discipline… Everybody in the industry is trying to keep costs low so there is a market imperative to doing this, but I also think there’s a strong moral obligation.”

Top of the Allianz growth agenda

Topham noted that sustainable and profitable growth in the long term is what Allianz Holdings is looking to achieve as it continues to build its brand in the UK personal lines market. At the heart of that is keeping the focus on the end customer.

“We’ll continue to watch what our customers’ needs are as they evolve, and to adapt and build new propositions to support them,” he said. “Staying ahead of that evolution is about offering and providing great customer service. Then, no matter how customers need change, your proposition can change with them to meet those and deliver great customer satisfaction.

Putting collaboration at the heart of growth ambitions

From a more internal perspective, Topham said he’s delighted to be working alongside his new management team, which includes faces both new and familiar.

“I’ve seen throughout my career that people want to work in a business that’s collaborative,” he said. “Having a strong internal culture which is committed to finding talent pathways for its people makes a real difference. I think the fact there’s such a strong emphasis on learning and development opportunities at Allianz is one key way in which we do not just bring in great talent, but also retain it. And being part of a global company means the world is your oyster if you want to work internally.”

There are a lot of exciting new initiatives planned for the near future, Topham said, and he’s looking forward to sharing those with the market in due course. In the meantime, however, his agenda is clear – to continue to build on the foundations of Allianz’s multi-brand strategy in the UK to fulfil its potential as the number one insurance brand.

“It’s a strategy that’s already getting great traction, between the rebrand of Flow and now the rebrand of LV=Broker,” he said. “We’ve been delighted with the phenomenal reception this rollout has received, and we’re already looking forward to what’s next.”


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