Allianz Life awarded CANSTAR CANNEX Five Star Rating for Outstanding Value in Direct Life Insurance

Sydney, 28 July 2009

Allianz Australia Life Insurance’s Life Plan policy has been awarded a Five Star Rating for “Outstanding Value” by CANSTAR CANNEX in its first-ever direct life insurance star ratings comparison.

Commenting on the award, Terry Towell, Managing Director of Allianz Australia said “Allianz is proud to be an inaugural winner of the CANSTAR CANNEX Direct Life Insurance Five Star Award for Outstanding Value. The award, and just the fact that CANSTAR CANNEX has started doing ratings comparisons for these products, proves that direct life insurance has ‘come of age’ in Australia.”

Up until the 1970s, most personal insurance, both life and general, was purchased through intermediaries such as brokers, agents and financial institutions.

A strong move to direct insurance for home and motor commenced around that time and is now a mature segment of the general insurance market. Today, most consumers purchase domestic home and motor insurance direct, be it at an insurance company branch office, over the phone or, more recently, online.

The move to direct life insurance, which is much more advanced in other countries such as the United Kingdom, has been slower in Australia, only really gathering pace in the last few years.

Mr Towell said “Allianz Australia shook up the life insurance market when it launched Allianz Life only a few years ago with a pure, direct only, offering. At that time, Allianz Life was able to do this by offering higher maximum levels of cover than other direct players, prices well below most of the life insurance market and, and a quick online application process that involves no medical tests.”

Allianz Australia Life is one of the few life insurance providers in Australia that focuses almost solely on direct distribution (eg phone, internet). Most other life insurers with direct offerings also have significant distribution through intermediaries such as financial planners and such ‘channel conflict’ can limit pricing flexibility.

“When Allianz Life entered the market, some existing life insurers already had direct offerings. However, we were somewhat surprised and perplexed that their prices were around the same and even sometimes higher than similar products they were offering through intermediaries, despite the existence of significant commission payments through that channel. Thus, it is Allianz’s ‘direct only’ model that has been one of the secrets behind Allianz Life’s ability to offer extremely competitive prices,” Mr Towell said.

The CANSTAR CANNEX ratings compared the price and policy features for two levels of coverage – $100,000 and $400,000 – across four different age profiles:

Young: 20-29 years
Middle: 30-39 years
Mature: 40-49 years
Empty Nester: 50-55 years

They also then drilled down into gender and smoking status to develop a total of 16 profiles for their comparative study. The Five Star Rating is awarded to the insurer or insurers that offer outstanding value across the entire 16 direct life insurance categories.

According to CANSTAR CANNEX they “found there was a great variance in premium prices” so “shopping around can pay big dividends.”

CANSTAR CANNEX described Allianz’s Life Plan product as a “good, basic, term life” policy that is “well priced”, with “cover up to $1.5 million”, and “the phone or online application process is simple and uncomplicated.”

Concluding, Mr Towell said “CANSTAR CANNEX’s research revealed that Allianz scored highest in the combination of premium price and features for its Life Plan policy, and that really sums up Allianz Life’s key objective, that is, to provide the best direct life insurance product in the market at the most competitive price.”

Media enquiries

Nicholas Scofield
Allianz Australia
Ph. 02-9390 6596
0416 088 414

Allianz Australia

Best General Insurance Company 2006*
Best General Insurance Company 2007*

The Allianz Australia Group operates in Australia and New Zealand. It includes one of Australia’s largest general insurers, a leading private workers’ compensation insurer, and a life insurer.

Allianz Australia delivers a wide range of personal, commercial and corporate insurance products and services. It is proud to be of service to more than 2 million policy holders and over 50% of Australia’s top 200 BRW listed companies have some form of insurance cover with the group.

Allianz Australia offers a wide range of insurance products and services including car insurance, home insurance and Life insurance.

Allianz Australia has approximately 3300 staff.
Greenhouse Challenge Plus
The Allianz Group’s commitment to social, environmental and economic sustainability has been acknowledged internationally by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which recognised the Allianz Group as the most sustainable general insurance group in the world in 2007. In Australia, Allianz Australia is a member of the Greenhouse Challenge Plus program, which is a cooperative partnership between industry and the Australian Government that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CANSTAR CANNEX, D.I.Y life insurance proving popular, media release, 28 July 2009
CANSTAR CANNEX, D.I.Y life insurance proving popular, media release, 28 July 2009

*Australian Banking and Finance Insurance Awards