The Association of Financial Advisers and Strategic Insight named BT Financial Group as Life Company of the Year in Sydney last night.
BTFG took home the platinum award against runners-up TAL, MLC and OnePath. The AFA and Strategic Insight said these insurers were analysed on five key criteria: company financial strength, based on solvency reserve and amounts available to meet solvency; product feature strength, based on more than 90 product features; overall service quality; premium rates relative to competitors; and market strength, based on sales, market share and growth over the past three years.
BTFG also won the Income Protection Award for its Income Protection Plus Plan and the Client Services Team award for its claims division.
OnePath won the Term/TPD and Trauma awards; CommInsure won for Risk Product Innovation, Annuity and Income Stream Innovation, and Investment Bond Results; Challenger was crowned winner of the Overall Annuity Provider and Long Term Income Stream awards; and TAL was given the Service Quality award.
Finally, Zurich won two Client Services Team awards for its underwriting and BDM/business support teams.
Outgoing AFA chief executive Brad Fox said: "The AFA/SI Life Company of the Year Awards are based on independent quantitative research conducted by Strategic Insight, actuaries and researchers, resulting from three separate investigations during the year.
"Each life insurer is individually assessed on a range of criteria and then measured against other insurers. In 2016, it was BT that once again ranked ahead of its peers," Fox added.
Strategic Insight head of sales, marketing and product development Rael Solomon said: "The retail life insurance market continues to be driven by a high level of competition between all life companies, resulting in innovation in not only products, but also in the aspects of underwriting, customer service and adviser training. Health and wellness has become a major theme and is already playing a part in the benchmarking which Strategic Insight applies to providers and their products."