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Just Retirement tops Sesame provider service index

Just Retirement and The Hartford edged out more established product providers to make the top three of Sesame’s first provider service index.

The survey found Just Retirement was ranked top for service by its members, followed by Skandia and The Hartford. Friends Provident and Standard Life were ranked fourth and fifth.

Axa was ranked the worst with Scottish Life and Liverpool Victoria making up the bottom three.

The other major life companies had broadly middling rankings with Legal & General ranked seventh, Norwich Union ninth, Clerical Medical tenth, Scottish Widows twelfth and Prudential sixteenth out of 21 firms.

Sesame surveyed members between January and April and plans to launch six-monthly updates to monitor providers’ progress.

Companies were assessed across four key areas of service- handling telephone calls, ability to process and track new business, online systems and support and handling correspondence and issuing mailings.

Sesame says its advisers define good service, as ‘people taking ownership of an enquiry’, ‘speedy access to information’, ‘quicker underwriting processes’ and ‘single person contact within the processing team’.

Sales and marketing director Stephen Young says: “Adviser research consistently cites service from product providers as one of the key issues that affects the day to day running of their business.

“We are not attacking providers. Some have improved drastically, while others clearly have a long way to go. We will measure this again in six months’ time to really tell how service has improved, or not, as the case may be.”

The full list:

Rank Provider Index Score
1 Just Retirement 2.99
2 Skandia 2.81
3 The Hartford 2.59
4 Friends Provident 2.56
5 Standard Life 2.16
6 Zurich 1.77
7 L&G 1.61
8 Royal Liver (Progress) 0.38
9 Norwich Union 0.22
10 Clerical Medical -0.12
11 Canada Life -0.13
12 Scottish Widows -0.14
13 AEGON ScotEquit -0.28
14 Bright Grey -0.31
15 Winterthur -0.34
16 Prudential -0.85
17 Abbey, inc Scot Prov -0.93
18 BUPA -0.98
19 Liverpool Victoria -1.41
20 Scottish Life -1.54
21 AXA -2.16

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