The insurance industry applauded the top award winners at last night’s gala celebration

The best, the brightest and the boldest in insurance were feted at the Insurance Times 2017 Awards last night.

Held at the swanky Intercontinental O2 Hotel, the black tie gala event was attended by more than 1,000 of the general insurance industry’s leading lights.

It was a celebration of all that is best in UK general insurance.

Celebrity comedian Kevin Bridges handed out awards to 33 winners in 32 categories, and the evening was topped off by an after party including dodgems.

The dinner concluded an eventful and critical year in insurance.

A year in which there’s been much to be proud of in terms of achievements across customer service, technology advancements and innovation.

The market has seen an explosion in apps allowing claimants to visually assess property damage and ping the results back to their insurance providers.

We’ve seen claims settled in three seconds, and a raft of disruptive entrants to the market offering innovations in pay-as-you-go insurance.

The market has seen further consolidation in the broker sector and innovative partnerships between insurers, such as LV=’s joint venture with Allianz.

The industry has continued to face up to the challenge of fraud. It has had to cope with the additional burden of rising Insurance Premium Tax and, and continues to suffer the consequences of the Ogden discount rate cut. And coming up, it is facing new challenges: the General Data Protection Regulation, the Senior Managers and Certification regime, and of course Brexit.

Here are the night’s award winners, and the judges’ views on why they won:

Insurance Times’ Newsmaker of the Year (as voted for by you)

Davies Group’s acquisition spree

Business Partner of the Year

Winner: REG (UK)

“A very successful start-up in compliance that is a treacherous area for any business.”

Claims Partner of the Year - General

Winner: rradar

“A beautiful customer-led approach to innovation.”

Claims Partner of the Year - Motor

Winner: Carrot Insurance

“Using data in an innovative way that really helps its driver customers and insurer partners.”

Commercial Lines Broker of the Year sponsored by Allianz

Winner: Direct Insurance London Market

“An entrepreneurial approach to technology to provide a real solution to fill a gap in the market.”

Customer Champion of the Year – Broker sponsored by Tokio Marine HCC

Winner: Insurancewith

“Insurancewith has developed a product that solves an insurance problem for people that are, or have been, dealing with serious medical problems. “ 

Customer Champion of the Year – Insurer sponsored by Auxillis

Winner: Zurich Municipal, VIVID & Ninety

“This was an internet of things programme aimed at the commercial market, designed for social housing, and transferable to landlords, councils and university housing.”

Diversity & Inclusion Excellence Award – sponsored by Manchester Underwriting Management

Winner: Claims Consortium Group

“Claims Consortium Group’s commitment to diversity through becoming the British Dyslexia Association’s first dyslexia friendly workplace has helped drive strong commercial growth, taking turnover to £46m in the last financial year and improved staff retention.”

Winner: Marsh

“Marsh has led the industry with its Diversity and Inclusion agenda , defining ‘inclusive’ as one of its global operating principles, securing a 50/50 gender split on graduate interns and ensuring that LGBT employees can be open about the sexuality by supporting Pride initiatives and internal colleague resource groups.”

Excellence in High Net Worth Broking sponsored by Home & Legacy

Winner: Marsh

“This proposition had the safety and well-being of policyholders and their families at the centre, while also solving the many problems a HNW policyholder may face.”

Excellence in Motor Broking sponsored by Markerstudy Group

Winner: BGL Group

“By undergoing a complete digital transformation, BGL has made it far simpler for their motor customers to do business with them. In a short period of time, the broker has impressively increased its net promoter scores and delivered more than 100 digital customer improvements. BGL has set the standard in motor broking excellence.”

Excellence in Claims Technology

Winner: 360Globalnet

“Judges praised 360Globalnet for its end-to-end solution, which they felt was more flexible and therefore more responsive than offerings by traditional claims technology providers.”

Highly Commended: Shift Technology

Excellence in Technology – Broker sponsored by TRiCE

Winner: Questor Insurance

“Judges were impressed with what they described as Questor’s very thoughtful use of technology on a limited budget.”

Highly commended: Towergate

Excellence in Technology - Insurer

Winner: WPA

“Judges felt the health insurer WPA’s DELOS system stood out in a strong category because it was built in-house, rather than using an external provider, and has strong potential for wider application.”

Excellence in Technology - Service Provider

Winner: Adapt Ready

“Adapt Ready’s AR-TECH won judges over because it is a new concept with a lot of potential – it could identify exposures that otherwise it would have not been possible to detect.”

Excellence in Training

Winner: Aviva

“Aviva recognised that its employees would benefit from training in how to deal sympathetically with distressed claimants who had suffered a major loss. But it also saw that its employees need support and guidance after working with traumatised customers. So, it brought in the experts, the Red Cross, to give them the benefit of their disaster relief experience.”

Excellence in Training - Broker

Winner: Be Wiser Insurance

“The judges said the winner’s training programme made a real difference to its staff, aiding retention and providing employees with a debt free degree education.”

Highly commended: BGL Group

Independent Broker of the Year sponsored by Aviva

Winner: Clear Insurance Management

“The judges praised the very clear direction and forward thinking of the business, and were pleased with the realistic and truly innovative approach to doing business.”

Highly commended: Alan Boswell Group 

Insurer Claims Initiative of the Year sponsored by Nationwide

Winner: Vetsure Pet Insurance

“An innovative digital claims program that streamlines the claims process and puts the policyholder at the centre of the process.”

Insurer Innovation of the Year sponsored by ACORD

Winner: Neos

“A fully integrated internet of things programme that provides 24/7 coverage and support for policyholders and which has attracted investment and collaboration from major insurers.”

Highly commended: Vetsure Pet Insurance

Customer Marketing Campaign of the Year

Winner: Sure Thing!

“Impressive innovation using marketing partners to drive distribution.”

Highly commended: Allianz

Industry Marketing Campaign of the Year

Winner: Paymentshield

“Imaginative way of highlighting value of advice. Relatively low-cost campaign.”

Highly commended: Travelers

MGA Initiative of the Year sponsored by WNS Assistance

Winner: tifgroup

“Medical risk rating innovation that has enabling people with serious medical conditions to secure affordable medical cover at no additional risk.” 

Personal Lines Broker of the Year sponsored by LexisNexis Risk Solutions

Winner: Fresh Insurance Services Group

“Fresh Insurance Group stood out with impressive financial results from the previous 12 months, whilst operating in a very competitive market.”

Highly commended: Lancaster Insurance

Schemes Broker of the Year sponsored by Ecclesiastical

Winner: Stanmore Insurance Brokers

“The judges were impressed by the passion of the presentation and how the broker uses blogs and online content to provide a consultation on risk to their clients.”

Nominated categories

Commercial Lines Insurer of the Year

Winner: Aviva

Direct Insurer of the Year sponsored by LexisNexis Risk Solutions

Winner: Admiral

General Insurer of the Year sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Winner: Aviva

Personal Lines Insurer of the Year sponsored by Carpenters

Winner: Covéa Insurance 

Insurer CEO’s CEO of the Year sponsored by IDEX Consulting

Winner: Bronek Masojada, Hiscox

Broker CEO’s CEO of the Year sponsored by RSA

Winner: Peter Blanc, Aston Scott

Best Digital Customer Experience sponsored by ACORD

Winner: Aviva 

The Insurance Times Industry Achiever sponsored by The Ardonagh Group

Steve McGill

Sponsors of the Insurance Times Awards 2017 were: Acord, Allianz, Ardonagh Group, Asta, Auxillis, Aviva, Carpenters, Ecclesiastical, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Home & Legacy, IDEX Consulting, Lexis Nexis, Manchester Underwriting Management, Markerstudy Group, Nationwide, RSA, Tokio Marine HCC, TRiCE/Markerstudy Group, WNS Assistance.

IT Awards sponsors