Advisers rank life insurance companies

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Australian financial advisers believe Macquarie Life is the best insurance company to work with, an annual benchmarking study shows.

Macquarie achieved the top status for overall satisfaction in the Beaton Benchmarks 2013 – Life Insurance Intermediaries Study for the sixth time in a row, the only insurer out of the 10 measured to get a five-star rating in this year’s report.
Beaton, which surveyed 748 financial advisers across Australia, gave Macquarie an overall satisfaction rating of 84%. This is up from 82% in 2012 and significantly above the industry average of 77%.
John Morrow, head of Beaton’s financial services research, told Wealth Professional that Macquarie seems to be more creative and innovative in product development.
“This is a reflection of what we’re seeing, not opinion. Broadly what the study is suggesting is that four-star or above is generally great service across the board. For Macquarie to come top six years in a row shows superior service and superior products.”

Macquarie came top in three of the key drivers of overall satisfaction for advisers – BDM support, underwriting support and product quality. The company saw no decline in any quality performance function categories, including reputation, call centre and technology services.
Last year, Asteron Life also got a five-star rating, but this year fell to four stars. The other providers to achieve four stars were TAL, BT, AIA and Zurich.

Rated with three-stars were AMP, Onepath and Comminsure. At the bottom of the heap was MLC, with two-stars – which was a step up from its one-star rating last year.

Morrow explained the three-star rated providers are all big companies, which means generally the service provided is not consistently high. “They focus on high value advisers and pretty much ignore the rest.”

Around half of the companies in the study are clients of Beaton, and pay for the research in order to compare and improve their market position, he said.

Macquarie Banking and Financial Services Group wealth product head Justin Delaney was “delighted” with the results and advisers’ appreciation of  the company.
“The consistent five-star rating is recognition of our innovative, market-leading product range, which we continue to evolve, and Macquarie Life’s exceptional team.
“It is important to us to work with advisers to provide the absolute best outcomes for their clients and, to this end, we aim to put clients at the centre of everything we do.”

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