EARLY  BIRD CLOSING  COUNTDOWN 

The awards are given to best-practice insurance products and service levels based on a defined set of customer-centric judging criteria. 

Please note that the descriptions under each category are the high-level criteria for each company to determine its eligibility to enter.  Once an entry is made, a separate set of detailed questions will be offered through the submission portal assigned to each company.  The questions are close-ended and open-ended. Therefore DO NOT rely on the descriptions under these categories to start writing your submissions.

Categories available for 2021:

Submit your best Ad, which you think best connects with your target audience emotionally. It is an ad that you feel is believable and memorable, and somewhat disruptive. Yes, it is that simple. This ad could be a print ad, an outdoor ad, an announcement on the radio, or one designed for social media.

This category is about a specific campaign launched during the past 12 months, between June 2020 and May 2021. What is the story behind the marketing campaign? Whether it is a product campaign, a re-branding exercise, or a campaign for a specific objective, please tell us what you are trying to achieve. What is the significant impact on the story, and did you accomplish that mission? We are looking for the most memorable campaign with powerful, meaningful, and inspirational messages that are not commoditized or focused on pricing. The campaign must also deliver on what it promises and should be ethical, relevant, and inclusive.

Social media connects people and companies to manage relationships and communicate effectively with their distribution partners and customers. The “Social Media Engagement" category recognizes companies that embrace social media as part of their producer relationship management strategies. They have built excellent social media tools and provide opportunities for people to collaborate and share information.

This a Grand title, and is not open for Entry.
The key indicators we look for are beyond brand recall. Still, elements like the perception of the firm's reputation, attitudes towards valuing the clients, whether they are open and honest, prioritize the client's needs over business revenues, etc., and finally voted by the majority of the judging panel.

Savings Product 
Key metrics include:
  • Financial Strength –  The ratings and sustainability ratios of the company. Strength of the parent group and commitment
  • Product Strategy  –  The product's commitment to satisfying long-term goals and objectives and its unique propositions.
  • Product Features – Rates and premiums, flexibility, renewability, cash value and policy convertibility, additional riders
  • Value for Money – Returns on savings, cash balance vs. Life protection, income distribution, cv to premium, breakeven, surrender charges, etc.
  • Return on Investment – The range of investment classes, the expertise of the selectors and the underlying investments, risk profile, performance against benchmarks and peers,
  • Fulfillment Ratio – the ability to deliver what was promised for the non-guaranteed benefits
  • Business – Distribution platform and business growth
  • Customer Care –  The customer segment, the technology the company has adopted for customers to make claims, shop, get quotes, and buy products with
  • Social Responsibility – Agency and broker training rigor, transparency of policies, clarity of marketing materials, accessibility, affordability, etc.
  • Investment Policies – ESG policies and integration to the Participation funds
  • Appendices A video link, screen captures, photos, etc.
Retirement and Annuity Product 
Key metrics include:
  • Financial Strength –  The ratings and sustainability ratios of the company. Strength of the parent group and commitment
  • Product Strategy  –  The product's commitment to satisfying long-term goals and objectives and its unique propositions.
  • Product Features – Rates and premiums, flexibility, renewability, cash value and policy convertibility, additional riders
  • Value for Money – Returns on savings, cash balance vs. life protection, income distribution, cv to premium, breakeven, surrender charges, etc.
  • Return on Investment – The range of investment classes, the expertise of the selectors and the underlying investments, risk profile, performance against benchmarks and peers,
  • Fulfillment Ratio – the ability to deliver what was promised for the non-guaranteed benefits
  • Business – Distribution platform and business growth
  • Customer Care –  The customer segment, the technology the company has adopted for customers to make claims, shop, get quotes, and buy products with
  • Social Responsibility – Agency and broker training rigor, transparency of policies, clarity of marketing materials, accessibility, affordability, etc.
  • Investment Policies – ESG policies and integration to the Participation funds
  • Appendices A video link, screen captures, photos, etc.
Whole Life Product 
Key metrics include:
  • Financial Strength –  The ratings and sustainability ratios of the company. Strength of the parent group and commitment
  • Product Strategy  –  The product's commitment to satisfying long-term goals and objectives and its unique propositions.
  • Product Features – Rates and premiums, flexibility, renewability, cash value and policy convertibility, additional riders, pre-existing condition coverage, survival period, exclusions, inclusions, etc.
  • Value for Money – Returns on savings, cash balance vs. life protection, income distribution, cv to premium, breakeven, surrender charges, etc.
  • Return on Investment – The range of investment classes, the expertise of the selectors and the underlying investments, risk profile, performance against benchmarks and peers,
  • Fulfillment Ratio – the ability to deliver what was promised for the non-guaranteed benefits
  • Business – Distribution platform and business growth
  • Customer Care –  The customer segment, the technology the company has adopted for customers to make claims, shop, get quotes, and buy products with
  • Social Responsibility – Agency and broker training rigor, transparency of policies, clarity of marketing materials, accessibility, affordability, etc.
  • Investment Policies – ESG policies and integration to the Participation funds
  • Appendices A video link, screen captures, photos, etc.
Universal Life Product 
Key metrics include:
  • Financial Strength –  The ratings and sustainability ratios of the company. Strength of the parent group and commitment
  • Product Strategy  –  The product's commitment to satisfying long-term goals and objectives and its unique propositions.
  • Product Features – Rates and premiums, flexibility, renewability, cash value and policy convertibility, additional riders, pre-existing condition coverage, survival period, exclusions, inclusions, etc.
  • Value for Money – Returns on savings, cash balance vs. life protection, income distribution, cv to premium, breakeven, surrender charges, etc.
  • Return on Investment – The range of investment classes, the expertise of the selectors and the underlying investments, risk profile, performance against benchmarks and peers,
  • Fulfillment Ratio – the ability to deliver what was promised for the non-guaranteed benefits
  • Business – Distribution platform and business growth
  • Customer Care –  The customer segment, the technology the company has adopted for customers to make claims, shop, get quotes, and buy products with
  • Social Responsibility – Agency and broker training rigor, transparency of policies, clarity of marketing materials, accessibility, affordability, etc.
  • Investment Policies – ESG policies and integration to the Participation funds
  • Appendices A video link, screen captures, photos, etc.
Qualified Deferred Annuity Policy
Key metrics include:
  • Financial Strength –  The ratings and sustainability ratios of the company. Strength of the parent group and commitment
  • Product Strategy  –  The product's commitment to satisfying long-term goals and objectives and its unique propositions.
  • Product Features – Rates and premiums, flexibility, renewability, cash value, and policy convertibility, premium payment period and annuity period, the length of premium payment period vs. the accumulation period, etc…
  • Return on Investment – The IRR for the guaranteed portion and the total projected benefits IRR
  • Fulfillment Ratio – the ability to deliver what was promised for the non-guaranteed benefits
  • Business – Distribution platform and business growth
  • Customer Care –  The customer segment, the technology the company has adopted for customers to make claims, shop, get quotes, and buy products with
  • Social Responsibility – Agency and broker training rigor, transparency of policies, clarity of marketing materials, accessibility, affordability, etc.
  • Investment Policies – ESG policies and integration to the Participation funds
  • Appendices A video link, screen captures, photos, etc.
Term Life Product
Key metrics include:
  • Financial Strength –  The ratings and sustainability ratios of the company. Strength of the parent group and commitment
  • Product Strategy  –  The product's commitment to satisfying long-term goals and objectives and its unique propositions.
  • Product Features – Rates and premiums, flexibility, renewability, policy convertibility, maximum terms, additional riders, pre-existing condition coverage, survival period, exclusions, inclusions, etc.
  • Value for Money – Coverage per $1 and global assistance programs, etc..
  • Fulfillment Ratio – the ability to deliver what was promised for the non-guaranteed benefits
  • Business – Distribution platform and business growth
  • Customer Care –  The customer segment, the technology the company has adopted for customers to make claims, shop, get quotes, and buy products with
  • Social Responsibility – Agency and broker training rigor, transparency of policies, clarity of marketing materials, accessibility, affordability, etc.
  • Investment Policies – ESG policies and integration to the Participation funds
  • Appendices A video link, screen captures, photos, etc.
Investment-linked Assurance Scheme
Key metrics include:
  • Financial Strength –  The ratings and sustainability ratios of the company. Strength of the parent group and commitment
  • Product Strategy  –  The product's commitment to satisfying long-term goals and objectives and its unique propositions.
  • Product Features – Rates and premiums, flexibility, renewability, cash value and policy convertibility, additional riders
  • Value for Money – Returns on savings, cash balance vs. Life protection, income distribution, cv to premium, breakeven, surrender charges, etc.
  • Return on Investment – The range of investment classes available, underlying charges, risk profiles to cover all age segments
  • Fulfillment Ratio – the ability to deliver what was promised for the non-guaranteed benefits
  • Business – Distribution platform and business growth
  • Customer Care –  The customer segment, the technology the company has adopted for customers to make claims, shop, get quotes, and buy products with
  • Social Responsibility – Agency and broker training rigor, transparency of policies, clarity of marketing materials, accessibility, affordability, etc., investment product onboarding due diligence
  • Appendices A video link, screen captures, photos, etc.
Critical Illnes Product 
Key metrics include:
  • Financial Strength –  The ratings and sustainability ratios of the company. Strength of the parent group and commitment
  • Product Strategy  –  The product's commitment to satisfying long-term goals and objectives and its unique propositions.
  • Product Features – Rates and premiums, flexibility, maximum renewability, cash value and policy convertibility, additional riders, maximum age of entry, pre-existing condition coverage, exclusions, inclusions, etc.
  • Value for Money – Comprehensive list of covered illness, rehabilitation programs, waiting period, survival period, claim settlement ratio, etc…
  • Business – Distribution platform and business growth
  • Customer Care –  The customer segment, the technology the company has adopted for customers to make claims, shop, get quotes, and buy products with
  • Social Responsibility – Agency and broker training rigor, transparency of policies, clarity of marketing materials, accessibility, affordability, etc.
  • Appendices A video link, screen captures, photos, etc.
Healthcare Product 
Key metrics include:
  • Financial Strength –  The ratings and sustainability ratios of the company. Strength of the parent group and commitment
  • Product Strategy  –  The product's commitment to satisfying long-term goals and objectives and its unique propositions.
  • Product Features – Rates and premiums,  flexibility, maximum renewability, cash value and policy convertibility, additional riders, maximum age of entry, pre-existing condition coverage, exclusions, inclusions, etc.
  • Value for Money – Comprehensive list of covered illness, cashless treatment, rehabilitation programs, waiting period, survival period, no claim bonuses, medical check-up facility, claim settlement ratio, preventive health check-ups, etc…
  • Business – Distribution platform and business growth
  • Customer Care –  The customer segment, the technology the company has adopted for customers to make claims, shop, get quotes, and buy products with
  • Social Responsibility – Agency and broker training rigor, transparency of policies, clarity of marketing materials, accessibility, affordability, etc.
  • Appendices A video link, screen captures, photos, etc.
Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme 
Key metrics include:
  • Financial Strength –  The ratings and sustainability ratios of the company. Strength of the parent group and commitment
  • Product Strategy  –  The product's commitment to satisfying long-term goals and objectives and its unique propositions.
  • Product Features – Going beyond legal requirements on rates and premiums,  flexibility, maximum renewability, cash value and policy convertibility, additional riders, maximum age of entry, unknown pre-existing condition coverage, exclusions, inclusions, etc.
  • Value for Money – Cashless treatment, rehabilitation programs, non-surgical cancer treatments, day case procedures, diagnostic tests, etc….
  • Customer Care –  The customer segment, the technology the company has adopted for customers to make claims, shop, get quotes, and buy products with
  • Social Responsibility – Agency and broker training rigor, transparency of policies, clarity of marketing materials, accessibility, affordability, etc.
  • Appendices A video link, screen captures, photos, etc.

The Client Support pillar measures the providers' strategies and practices on after-care, ease of contact, availability of digital tools and ease of usage, supporting clients regardless of the situation, administrative assistance, ensuring that they understand each stage entirely, and keeping promises. In addition, the participants will expect service level and commitment questions, their advocacy scores, how channels engage with clients, and the alignment between agents and the clients being served.

The Broker Support pillar aims to measure providers who understand the changing landscape of insurance and the challenges intermediaries face today, such as digital, increased regulation, and cost of doing business.  Relevant metrics will include delivering practical and relevant training on hard and soft skills, empowering intermediaries to understand better clients' needs and goals, mapping, and planning, mitigating complaints, and managing them effectively, enhancing market and technical knowledge.  Also reviewing the marketing support and ideas generation as per the broker's servicing segments, digital offerings to access client data and ease of administrative support, proper product mapping, etc.

We are looking to award insurers for their successfully implemented digital project. It could be developing a selling tool, an interactive website, an integration with a third-party platform, etc. The project must have a clearly defined objective, whether for marketing, sales, risk management, or something else. Next, the judges will look at how the project was conceived, developed, and implemented to achieve those objectives and the types of challenges your team has overcome, to a certain extent, a social contribution. Finally, the effectiveness of the project, whether it has achieved the project's targets and performance against internal metrics, etc.

This category, “Client Digital Experience” looks to award companies that use digital as a means to an excellent client experience strategy. While digital customer experience is only a subset of the entire customer experience, it is an important one as more customers are judging companies’ capabilities by their digital offerings and interfaces with computers, tablets, and smartphones. Customers use them for product searches, locating the nearest support center, or making a purchase for the first time and judge whether to do business with a company based on their initial digital encounter.  Judges will look for support in major touchpoints, your omnichannel support, how you track and tie all interactions across all channels, and how you communicate and engage with clients and build loyalty.  This category also looks at metrics on online usability that caters to the needs of the different age segment customers and intermediaries.  KPIs being measured include the intuitiveness of the website, security, ease of access and online purchase, policy aggregation, Innovation, source of information, usage, frequency of updates, etc…  Additional metrics are on App usability that caters to the needs of the different age segment customers.  KPIs being measured include the intuitiveness of the APP, security, online purchase, account details and access, chats and bots, Innovation, usage, frequency of updates, etc…  

This category, “Intermediary Digital Experience” looks to award companies who value brokers and agents as critical drivers for revenue. Companies managing a large agency force and brokerage distribution line should place a high priority on empowering their productivity through the use of digital. We are looking to award insurance companies that seek to please brokers with a highly intuitive and interactive digital experience to increase productivity, promote transparency, manage cross-selling, self-promotion, communication with clients, regular reviews, handling claims, and empowering client decision making, etc…  This category also looks at metrics on online usability that helps intermediaries on understanding the needs of the different age segment customers.  KPIs being measured include the intuitiveness of the website, security, ease of access and online purchase, policy aggregation, Innovation, source of information, usage, frequency of updates, etc…  Additional metrics are on App usability that helps caters to the needs of the different age segment customers.  KPIs being measured include the intuitiveness of the APP, security, online purchase, account details and access, chats and bots, Innovation, usage, frequency of updates, etc…   

The “Academy of the Year" is awarded to the highest-scoring insurer with the best-in-class training and development commitment and execution in delivering professional education and training to their sales and support staff in the following areas: Value—training opportunities with a solid commitment to supporting diversity and inclusion, display of talent acquisition, retention, and low attrition rates; Processes—for clear performance indicators that are not purely tied to revenues, but also safeguard the customers against mis-selling activities; and Innovation—demonstrating creativity and Innovation for the learning process   across  the board.

The “Human Capital Development" metrics aim to measure insurance companies’ ability to attract, retain, and develop human capital based on their provision of benefits, training and development programs, and employee engagement.  More specifically, whether the company provides social contribution through job creation can minimize attrition on human intellectual capital, key person’s risk, and turnover. In addition, the panel looks at metrics to measure employees' satisfaction, fair compensation for non-officer and non-sales staff, clear lines of promotion, and policies to address labor-management relations, discrimination, and workforce diversity. And finally, evaluation of the percentage of women among new hires, the total  workforce, senior management roles, and women directors on board. 

The “Compliance Excellence" metrics aim to measure high-quality providers who go beyond the most minimal regulatory requirement and proactively build an effective defence system for internal control that prepares the organization to face unanticipated market events and disruptive trends. Metrics include compliance integrating with the various business functions, the role and responsibility of the CCO, process, and methodology, regulatory alignment, compliance risk assessment and mitigation, new product development and training, the firm's IT and technology framework on reporting and data collection, plus the transparency between the business owners, process owners, and audit. 

The “Risk Management" metrics aim to measure high-quality providers who have best-in-class risk control infrastructures.  The panel will be reviewing the company's foresight and visions on developing risk functions on balancing the old and new skills, employing digital Innovation while mitigating concerns derived from cyber-attacks, protecting data privacy, and the vulnerabilities that emerged from automation, digitization, and global expansion of the digital ecosystems. Also, expect the governance protocol for decision-making processes and how risk management is applied to integrating with other business functions, from the front office to the back.  

The ESG Integration metrics measure the insurer's commitment to integrating ESG into your investment decision-making throughout the investment process for the entire suites of your products, investment activities and reinforces ESG's role in Long-Term Value Creation
Key metrics include:
– the systematic approach: innovative approaches to applying environmental, social, and Governance (ESG) analysis to the capital being allocated across the board, despite the sectors, countries, and asset classes
– the team buy-in and implementation: how multiple teams come to a consensus for the performance across the board
– disclosure: disclosed policies and procedures for integrating ESG information and metrics into the investment process communicated to investee companies
– execution: resources, constraints, and timeline management
– outcomes: results measured the key learnings from this approach

Responsible Investing means the practice of Active Ownership and integrates ESG into your ownership policies and procedures while driving positive real-world goals.  These metrics put the welfare of the policyholders and other stakeholders at the forefront. Apart from illustrating your collaborative engagement initiatives with the investees, you prioritize outcomes at the society/economy-wide scales, such as addressing climate change and corruption, rather than purely focusing on pure risks and returns of the holdings in the portfolio.
Key metrics include:
– the foundation of the practical stewardship principles
– ongoing development and implementation of the stewardship policies
– monitoring and assessment techniques of investee companies
– the collaboration goals and engagement principles with investee companies and investors
– how voting rights are exercised
– how ESG is promoted as long-term value creation

The impact initiatives are metrics measuring the insurer's ability to create positive social or/and environmental value, also have material exposure to businesses that address social or/and environmental challenges through their products and services. It should also prove that their investments are aligned with one or more UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Key metrics include:
– your competitive proposition in the impact investment space
– the substantial impact, both negative and positive, and/or the progress towards achieving those goals
– the scale of the investments vs. the impact terms created
– how the impact contributes to society/economy-wide solutions
– the uniqueness of the project that was set out to solve issues not addressed before the buy-ins of all stakeholders with clearly defined KPIs

What You Need to Know to Enter?

The BENCHMARK rating programs are not about simply handing out a rating or a trophy — they are programs designed to act on behalf of the customers to validate what is going behind the scenes of the providers and helping providers do better each year. The process removes the sugar-coating and prettification and digs deeply into the providers’ operations, values, and practices. The process also holds the companies accountable for their behavior.

Our honorable Jurors for 2020

The 2021 jurors will be announced in September 2021. 

Agnes Koon, MH

Chief Executive, KSY Speciality Ltd

Alexandra Tracy

Founder and President, Hoi Ping Ventures

Arvind Sundaresan

Head - FSI, Digital Business Services – APJ, SAP Asia Private Limited

Chris Hewison

Insurance Partner, Hong Kong PwC

Chris Kyme

Co-founder & Creative Director, Kymechow

David Piesse

Chairman, International Insurance Society Global Ambassador Program

Deric Wong

CEO, Omnicom Media Group Hong Kong

Elsa Pau

CEO, WealthAsia Group

Marc Baloch

Founder & Managing Director, Resonance Asia

Michael Lamb

Marketing Director at CCW Global

Roger Steel

Managing Director, Hong Kong & Macau, Willis Towers Watson

Wyman Leung M.Phil, FRM

Chief Investment Officer, AMG Financial Group

The Consumer Ratings are aggregated scores derived from “Social Listening" and “Customer Feedback." Benchmark's Social Listening is a breakthrough methodology that involves deep-learning-based narrative analytics that removes the inherent bias of social listening tools and brand trackers for better-correlated performance. The analysis is cut by demographic, point in the purchase funnel, sentiment, NPS, and narrative source. Additional Customer Feedback is Benchmark's research initiatives using an online survey and utilizing Benchmark’s questionnaire approach. The exercise allows the index to ascertain insights into active insurance relationships of clients, prospective or non-prospective insurance (future) relationships of clients, their overall perception or experiences, awareness, and exposure to the Insurance landscape.

The Consumer Ratings – The highest scoring company of each category will be the award recipient and be awarded a 5-Star rating:
5-Star Rating ★★★★★ The top 10% of the performers in each category will be rated five stars, and these products or service levels are considered “Best of the Best."
4-Star Rating ★★★★ , The top 11-35%% of the performers in each category, will be rated four stars, and these products or service levels are considered “Better than Most."
3-Star Rating ★★★ The top 36-65% of the performers in each category will be rated three stars, and these products or service levels are considered “Average."
“The Rest" are performers scoring below 65% in each category will be rated as “the rest of the pack.”

A critical process to hear directly from vertical experts in digital, client servicing, sustainability, governance and products, and rebut submission materials that are misunderstood. An exchange platform for brokers and experts to better understand the metrics and KPIs behind the drivers for products and service level capabilities and receive a summary of expert reviews and findings.

The BENCHMARK’s rating programs are not about simply handing out a rating or a trophy — they are programs designed to act on behalf of the customers to validate what is going behind the scenes of the providers and helping providers do better each year. The process removes the sugar-coating and prettification and digs deeply into the providers’ operations, values, and practices. The process also holds the companies accountable for their behavior, and by offering them a chance to access the online KPI Dashboard that covers the industry’s market landscape, client demand assessment, and their own competency assessment, the companies can build on their strength and bridge the gaps of their shortcomings.

The process for Insurance providers involves five simple stages:
1.  Choose the Categories you are either confident to compete in or gather industry insight into your capability in the area.
2.  After confirming the entries, you will answer a standard questionnaire in your submission portal. It would be wise to give examples and to attach relevant appendices, videos, and screen captures.
3.  During the implementation of the competition, BENCHMARK conducts social listening and customer feedback with thousands of respondents and netizens over 70+ social media platforms. The study reflects the voices of Active Clients, Considering and Non-Considering Clients regarding their satisfaction levels, perceptions of the firm, selection drivers, and what drives them away.
4.  The findings from active practitioners will participate in the survey to gather insights into the agents’ sentiments towards the industry, their firm and rivals, and their attitudes towards clients and their firms.
5.  An independent judging panel comprising over 30 independent consultants and industry veterans across the region with valuable industry insights will contribute to the decision-making process while referencing our proprietary interactive survey results that allow for a deeper dive into the customers’ minds.
6.  You will then be invited to participate in a closed-door review session with our senior committee member to discuss the feedback. You will be offered a 7-day rebuttal window to address any missing information or misinterpretation of the information you provided in your submissions.
7.  The very kind jurors will review the additional information you provide and offer their final judgment and scores.

 

Entry Opens:

June 21, 2021

Close of Early Bird Offer:

July 16, 2021

Close of Entry:

July 23, 2021

Submission Deadline:

September 7, 2021

Judging Period:

September 2021

Rebuttal Sessions:

Mid October 2021

Results Announcement:

Early November 2021

Media Outreach:

November 2021

Gala Dinner:

Early December 2021 (subject to local regulations)          

Social Media Campaign

January to February, 2022

Participation Fees:

 

Entry per category – Early Bird

USD 1,350 (on or before July 16)

Regular price per category

USD 1,650 (after July 16)

The Benchmark Sustainable Wealth Forum is a knowledge exchange where industry leaders and winners of the Benchmark awards are featured. The Forum covers the financial eco-system and discovers the inside out of the providers’ practices that lead to a more sustainable industry through responsible and ethical investing in protecting the investors across multiple generations. The inaugural series covers the Winners at the Benchmark Wealth Management Awards of 2020. The topics covered in the Insurance series include topics from Product Proposition, Quality of Advice, Client Journey, Digital and Brand Value.

Between March and May of this year, we have helped seven winning companies gain over 200,000 impressions per interview on LinkedIn and Facebook with an average engagement rate of 3.16% compared to the market average of 2%.