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Willis evaluates carriers in new quality survey


NEW YORK--While all of the insurers recently ranked by Willis Group Holdings Ltd. associates perform above average, more work can be done to differentiate through service and performance, the London-based brokerage said Thursday in announcing results of its first global Carrier Evaluation Survey.

More than 2,500 Willis employees worldwide participated in the survey, ranking 80 insurer groups on a scale of 1 to 10--10 being the highest--against four categories: underwriting, policy administration, claims performance and service activities.

Describing the overall results of the survey "encouraging," Willis said all the insurers ranked above the midpoint. But while nearly half of the 80 carrier groups received a mean score of 7 or greater, none scored more than 8.

"There is clearly opportunity for carriers to further differentiate themselves through service and performance," Willis said.Underwriting was overall the highest rated category, with a mean score of just under 7. Two elements in the underwriting category--coverage and contract certainty--were the highest-scoring activities across the whole survey, Willis said.

Willis associates in its employee benefits business unit rated the performance of their insurers the highest, with a mean score of 7.23, while associates in its Asia Pacific unit had the least positive view of their insurers with a mean score of 6.44.

Willis' "Carrier Evaluation Survey" is part of its wider initiative, the Willis Quality Index, which seeks to measure a wide range of service and performance criteria among underwriters and is set to launch later this year.

Willis said it hopes to use the findings of its survey to raise the standard of performance in the industry and to help clients make more informed decisions.