Hiscox and Sterling highest ranked insurers

NIG and AXA have soared in the estimations of brokers according to Insurance Times’ seventh Broker Service Survey.

The survey asked brokers to rank insurers and underwriting agencies on seven key service areas – ease of access to decision makers, underwriting expertise and flexibility, fairness of claims settlement, speed of settlement, clarity of policy wording, speed of documentation delivery and quality of cover.

In commercial lines, NIG was the most improved insurer. Its score increased in all seven areas, with its overall score rising from 3.41 to 3.92 out of a possible five.

NIG also topped the table for e-trading options for brokers, with a score of 4.11, up from 3.54 last year.

The insurer launched its full cycle e-trading platform, The Hub, in January, with policies for landlords, tradesmen and professionals.

NIG MD Jon Greenwood said: “To make a significant improvement across every key customer touch point is testament to the hard work and dedication of our people.

“The results demonstrate that our brokers have recognised and benefited from the improvements we have made to our trading model.”

For personal lines, AXA was the most improved insurer, with an overall score of 3.94, up from 3.36 in 2012.

AXA commercial lines and personal intermediary chief executive Amanda Blanc said: “This is a very encouraging result barely six months since we launched our new personal lines broker proposition at Biba. We have put a huge amount of effort into this and made significant investment and the survey results show that brokers are now seeing the benefits.

“However, this is just the first step in a much longer journey to deliver the products and service that brokers want, not just in personal lines but in all business lines.”

Sterling year

Smaller insurers dominated the top of the Broker Service Survey table once again. Hiscox climbed to number one for personal lines with a score of 4.53 compared to an average of 3.98 across all the ranked insurers.

Sterling’s star also shone brightly. It held onto the top spot for commercial lines and entered the personal lines table at number three. During the year it opened a new office in Birmingham and expanded into the Scottish regions, as well as launching a range of specialist commercial products and refreshing its high net worth products.

Managing director John Blundell said: “We never lose sight of the fact that our brokers deal with us because we have quality products and quality people delivering a first class service to them and their customers. 

“The results of the survey is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team.”

Candid comments

This year’s survey asked brokers were asked to name and score three insurers or underwriting agencies they had done business with over the past 12 months. Insurers were only ranked if they received at least 50 responses.

The two Broker Service Survey reports also include detailed comments made by brokers about all the insurers featured, and which segment of the market they come from.

Subscribers can see the rankings here.