By MATTHEW BRODSKY, senior editor/Web editor of Risk & Insurance®
According to a survey of 676 risk managers at large U.S. companies by Stamford, Conn.-based Greenwich Associates, Aon
Corp. saw "sharply" declined scores for client experience. The Chicago-based insurance brokerage scored lower in customer service than the other big two brokers, New York-based Marsh and U.K.-based Willis, in fact seeing a drop "unlike any of the other brokers in the top 10," said David Fox, the Greenwich partner in charge of global insurance.
When it comes to clients, as Fox put it, the overall impression in the marketplace is that Aon is in it just for the current-period transaction and not the overall client relationship.
"And I got the data to support it," Fox said, adding that it is not just a nuance of one measurement but a culmination of a number of lagging scores.
Forty-one percent of the respondents in the survey were clients of Aon, while 45 percent used Marsh and 23 percent used Willis.
Marsh improved the most among the Big Three in the Greenwich survey, distancing itself in the marketplace thanks to its global thought leadership and what appears like a renewed focus on its clients.
"What we see with Marsh is just a series of stronger client commitment levels," Fox said.
Willis scored high in the survey as well, in particular for helping clients to coordinate claims settlements.
THE AWARD WINNERS
Itasca, Ill.-based Arthur
J. Gallagher earned a Greenwich Excellence Award for its service quality and presence in the marketplace, along with Lockton Cos., Wells Fargo Insurance, and BB&T Insurance Services.
Greenwich also announced that Integro, Beecher Carlson, Alliant Insurance Services, Hub International and Hylant Group earned honorable mentions for their strong service (albeit with a smaller market presence).
"Integro was created with the very clear mandate to provide the best in client service in the business," said Peter Garvey, president and chief executive of New York-based Integro, in a statement. "It is very gratifying when clients say we're delivering on that mandate.
The trend here is obvious: the big three brokers get left behind by their smaller competitors when it comes to service.
"These smaller brokerages, they get a smaller piece of the market, but, boy, do they serve it," Fox said.
The four award winners were rated as "excellent" for customer satisfaction by at least half of their clients surveyed. BB&T scored 59 percent. In comparison, fewer than 40 percent of the respondents rated the customer satisfaction of the major brokers as "excellent."
Aon's score here, for instance, went from 39 percent in the 2009 survey to 29 percent in the 2010 one. Marsh's excellent score improved from 35 percent to 38 percent, Willis from 35 percent to 39 percent.
For the survey, Greenwich Associates interviewed risk managers from October to December 2010 at 676 U.S. companies with annual revenues of $500 million and above.
Willis declined to comment. Marsh felt it inappropriate to comment because it had not seen the full report. Aon did not respond to attempts for comment for this story
March 8, 2011
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