Pru Health has been rated as the insurer most willing to get involved in building up intermediaries' businesses in a survey by the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries.
The survey of almost 9,500 intermediaries reveals almost half say Pru Health “wants to get really involved” in building the intermediary’s business, such as through marketing support or sharing ideas to increase sales.
Pru Health is followed by Axa PPP Healthcare, which 28% of respondents say wants to get really involved in their business, Norwich Union Healthcare (23%) and BCWA Healthcare (22%).
Pru Health and Axa PPP are also recognised as being good at offering training, with the majority of respondents (67% for Pru Health and 51% for Axa PPP) assessing the insurers as “very willing to give training”.
The report says: “Continuous professional development is an issue which affects all intermediaries and insurers, and the industry should work together to ensure that levels of training and competence continue to improve. This not only benefits our mutual customers, but ultimately benefits the businesses of the insurer and intermediary.”
The survey reveals Axa PPP is seen as demonstrating a real commitment to assisting intermediaries in understanding the changing regulatory framework, gaining a score of 1.2 out of 2, compared with the next highest score of 0.6 for Standard Life.
When rating insurers for timely and accurate settlement of commissions, the Permanent Health Company (PHC) is regarded as providing the best service with a score of 71 out of 100, followed by Exeter (67) and Standard Life (65).
But the report reveals the only insurers to improve on their scores from last year are BCWA Healthcare and Norwich Union. Exeter and Pru Health have maintained the same scores and all the other insurers have seen a slight deterioration.
The report states: “In this age of more sophisticated communication methods, it is disappointing to note that bar a few exceptions there seems to have been a slight deterioration in ratings for insurers on communicating product developments with intermediaries.”
When judging insurer’s service standards over the past 12 months for administration of new and existing business, Bupa is the only insurer perceived as having a reduction in service standards, but the report adds most of the benchmark service standards showed Bupa’s service levels remained fairly static over the year.
It adds: “Many intermediaries have commented on the fact that there has been no consistency in personnel contacts at Bupa over the last year or so, which has undoubtedly had a negative impact on intermediaries’ perceptions of Bupa’s service standards.”
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