The AFA and the Beddoes Institute have announced the preliminary winners in their Consumer Choice Awards, which recognise the top insurers as rated by policyholders and claimants.
BT Financial Group won the Most Satisfied Claimants award, according to a statement, while TAL won both the Most Satisfied Policyholders and the Best Policyholder Advocacy awards.
Claimant awards reflect the opinions of surveyed policyholders who are going through or who have gone through the claims process, while policyholder awards reflect the views of all surveyed policyholders, the statement said.
The preliminary results are based on the first wave of research from the Beddoes Institute, conducted in March/April 2016 and foreshadowing the inaugural awards ceremony in November.
"These awards bring the voice of policyholders who have a financial adviser to the forefront of thinking for the customer experience teams at our major life insurers," AFA chief executive Brad Fox said.
"They serve the purpose of establishing benchmarks, driving competition and recognising best practice performance."
Life companies needed at least 50 customer ratings to be eligible for a policyholder choice award or claimant choice award, the statement said.
Beddoes Institute director Rebecca Sheils said recognition for offering the best service is incredibly prestigious, and therefore desirable, particularly in the current environment where advisers and their clients want the confidence that they have chosen the right insurer.
"We have developed a quantitative way to evaluate insurers to help give advisers and their clients peace of mind when selecting a trauma, TPD or income protection insurance provider, based on the experiences of actual customers," Ms Sheils said.
"It's like asking a couple of thousand neighbours with experience with those organisations, which ones they rate."
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