The judging day was held in October and took nearly 6 hours. The longest judging yet.
As usual, the industry votes help to decide the shortlists. And combined with the written entries, the views and opinions of the judges decide the overall winners.
We’d like to thank our guest judges this year: Setul Mehta, Adam Higgs, Monica Garcia, Katie Crook-Davies, Stephanie Charman, Maria Hearne and Zanele Sibanda.
Innovation Award in association with Gen Re
Winner: FTRC (Protection Guru)
The dedication of this company to improving advice, intelligence and standards across the industry is vast, with changes made this year being very well received by adviser firms. The entry contained strong adviser feedback and stood out in terms of comparison reports with an emphasis on quality. The development of ProtectionGuruPro is a well-timed innovation considering the impending arrival of consumer duty.
Underwriting & Claims Award in association with Risk Assured
Topping the adviser vote with a strong entry that showed an ardent desire to enhance and simplify the customer experience at the start and the end of the policy, backed up by strong evidence of impact. This category was a hard one to judge but the strength of the adviser feedback we received combined with the evidence of the very real impact HALO is having on claimants meant Guardian clinched victory.
Individual Protection Adviser of the Year in association with Cirencester Friendly
Winner: Mollie Burdge, Future Proof
The judges said this adviser WAS a young and enthusiastic newcomer who is NOW an adviser role-model – dedicated to providing the best advice and service with an excellent retention rate. Mollie’s determination to live her company’s ethos, treat every client as though they’re a member of your family, means the breadth of cover she is arranging stood out as particularly impressive, particularly when supported by the other data she provided in her entry.
Best New Product or Enhancement in association with Hannover Re
Winner: Holloway Friendly
With less than usual product development in recent years, the winner was brave and bold enough, not only to withdraw old products and replace them with fresh new ones, but also abolish complex language and jargon with a complete re-write. Don’t under-estimate how important such a move is.
Best Protection Network in association with HSBC Life
Winner: The Openwork Partnership
The judges said this strong entry evidenced market growth, innovation, training, signposting, and great testimonials. Strong evidence provided of how they are working across the industry to help grow the market, with great use of technology to support advisers.
Health Insurance Adviser of the Year in association with The Exeter
Winner: Assured Futures
The judges said the winner continues to lead the health insurance market with the quality of their advice and service. Their extra touches such as children’s cover and free will writing also made their entry stand out. Comprehensive evidence provided of the quality of their work both from a compliance perspective but also from customer perspective with over 10% of new business enquiries coming from recommendations.
Unsung Hero Award in association with National Friendly
Winner: Nicola Kingsley-Rowe, London & Country
This was a very tough category to judge (and we had to discount some entries that didn’t meet the criteria) but our winner is a self-confessed ‘geek’ who topped the industry vote and showed a strong dedication to coaching and product knowledge.
Best Care & Support Experience in association with Protection Guru
The judges said the winning entry showed a service backed by robust research and with everything accessible in one simple app. Importantly, they evidenced detailed usage stats, not just registrations & views, to support their submission.
Young Achiever Award in association with Zurich
Winner: Amit Mistry, Scottish Widows
The judges said this person’s work, which ranges from vulnerable customers and ethnicity to training and charity is absolutely excellent and the stand out winner.
Best Adviser Marketing by an Insurer in association with LifeSearch
Our winner performed well in the industry vote and showed us a wide range of refreshing new ideas and thought leadership. They showed a strong focus on what advisers really need including education, improving quality, and sales without being salesy.
Doing it Better Award in association with Iress
Our winner not only topped the industry poll but evidenced that ‘Doing it Better’ is embedded in everything they do – the sheer breadth of initiatives creates a culture committed to setting the very best example.
Best Use & Promotion of Health & Wellbeing Services by an Adviser in association with AIG Life
Winner: Assured Futures
The judges said our winner champions care and support services, including their own rewards package, which is driving positive outcomes for their customers.
Protection Intermediary of the Year in association with Holloway Friendly
Winner: Future Proof
The judges said our winner has been a constant sign-posting leader, a market influencer and a champion of comprehensive protection advice. Only 16% of their cases compete on price alone and they have 100% claims payout record.
Protection Journalist of the Year in association with HSBC Life
Winner: John Brazier, Cover
The judges said this journalist has helped his magazine and therefore the industry to evolve and improve this year with a range of great content and social media.
Personality of the Year in association with Sesame Bankhall Group
Winner: Robert Sinclair, AMI
The judges said sometimes the best way to improve an industry is to improve from within. But sometimes, it takes someone a little outside of our world to draw attention to the key issues and drive change – both in their market and ours. This year’s winner is not quite from the protection industry but has spoken with clear drive and intent to his membership and beyond about how and why our sector needs to improve.
Organisation of the Year
Winner: Legal & General
For this award we look at the overall quality of entries across different categories, as well as the wider industry, adviser votes, their position in the market, new developments, outcomes, sales, research, leadership & more. The judges said this year’s winner submitted strong entries in a range of categories, and has been an outstanding organisation in our industry not just this year, but for decades.
Lifetime Achievement Award in association with Legal & General
Winner: Mick James
Mick has worked in product development and marketing roles and gained a well-deserved reputation for his deep industry knowledge and a relentless, calm, and positive approach, that engages everyone he talks to. He is also one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
His work with ILAG, which was acknowledged in 2010, saw him work on many important issues including the Joint Law Commissions review of Insurance Law, the duty of utmost good faith and non-disclosure.
He did a fabulous job championing online submission and underwriting in the early days of its development, and in his role at Standard Life, they became the first product provider to sign up to publish claims statistics on a regular basis.
This was a pivotal moment for the industry, which directly contributed to consumer behaviours and the improvement of ALL our reputations.
As business development director at RGA, he continued to push new ideas, initiatives, and innovations, all designed to improve products, processes and the industry’s reputation.
He’s always supported charities and since leaving the industry this has become his focus. He’s been helping to support the development of local communities in rural areas of Zambia and Malawi and is a champion of digital education in Malawi through the company, Padziwe.
We know he’ll be a popular winner because many people who we spoke to described him as one of the most engaging and likeable people ever to work in the protection industry.
How to win in 2023?
- Read and respond to the entry criteria
- Stick to the format and word count
- Back up your claims as best you can with evidence, stats, testimonials & more
And for a bit of fun – check out this video by Kevin Carr.
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