In an industry first, life insurers are being evaluated by customers on what matters most to them. Designed to improve the experience of life insurance customers and drive a deeper partnership between consumers, life insurance companies and advisers, research findings underpin the Consumer Choice Awards, a joint initiative of the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) and the Beddoes Institute.
The winners and finalists of these awards are chosen by consumers. The Beddoes Institute conducts the analysis of customer feedback and ratings of their life insurance company and this alone determines the winners.
The Consumer Choice policyholder awards categories cover both new and established consumers that have taken out their policies through a financial adviser.
The claimant award categories recognise outstanding service of claimants of Income Protection, Trauma and TPD insurance during 2017 including claims processing, support and holistic care.
Retail life insurance arranged with the advice and support of a financial adviser has several advantages over life insurance purchased direct by consumers, or through their super funds.
About the AFA
The Association of Financial Advisers Limited (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 consumer initiative Your Best Interests helps Australians to increase their understanding of financial issues and the life events where financial advice can improve their health, wealth and well-being.
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 the Beddoes Institute
In 2013 the Beddoes Institute released the ‘Value of Protection’ white paper for the AFA with the support of BT Financial Group to stimulate improvement in life insurance claims management across the sector and provide new guidelines for optimising claims outcomes for consumers and for raising the standard of claims management in Australia. This white paper identified claimants’ seven critical needs, and provided insurers with a consumer-focused framework for evaluating current claims management approaches and developing new and improved models of service.
In addition, the paper sought to evaluate how the sector was performing in claims management. This analysis revealed that Australian life insurance companies are out-performed by the American Life Insurance industry in the area of claims management. This finding provided the motivation for developing an independent Australian industry benchmarking study to measure claimants’ needs and experiences and by doing so assist in improving the standard of claims management in Australia.
Following almost two years of consultation, the Beddoes Institute has now launched an industry-wide customer experience benchmarking program – The Life Insurance Industry Performance Barometer. The Barometer benchmarking studies were designed in close collaboration with over 60 stakeholders including representatives from consumers, advisers and the life insurance industry.
The Beddoes Institute also conducts rigorous, scientific audits of financial advisers, providing an independent assessment of their strengths and weaknesses enabling them to improve their practice based on objective client feedback.
As a result of listening to and measuring the ratings from thousands of advisers’ clients, the Beddoes Institute is able to offer consumers’ access to Most Trusted Advisers – some of Australia’s best financial advisers. The Beddoes Institute is independently owned and operated and the Most Trusted Advisers initiative has not been funded by any financial advice or financial services company or association.