Max Life Insurance tops loyalty rankings among insurance cos: Kantar IMRB

Insurance India is an annual study that is conducted by Kantar IMRB International each yearis in its 7th edition this year and tracks changing customer attitudes and behaviours. This year, the coverage includes feedback from nearly 7,000 customers, 13 players and more than 15 cities across India. Customer feedback was gathered during the first quarter of 2018.

The Indian life insurance sector has a long history and has evolved over the decades, from being a public sector monopoly to one that has attracted many private players. According to IRDA, the sector is growing at a speedy rate of 15-20% and together with banking services, add about 7% to our nation’s GDP.The sector has always posed its share of challenges for the companies operating in this space.

Insurance India states that the loyalty levels for the sector at large stands at a modest 69%, recording a stronger loyalty in tier 2 towns as opposed to metro cities.


  • In terms of brand rankings, Max Life Insurance takes the coveted top spot in 2018, closely followed by industry behemoth SBI Life, with LIC and Birla Sunlife in joint third position.

  • In 2017, we saw for the first time in six years of tracking this sector, LIC being upstaged from its leadership position on customer loyalty. That pattern continues this year too, with LIC staying in 3rd position on loyalty.

  • Innovation is the key to customers this year. Brands that are not seen as innovative have fallen in their loyalty ranking as well. The other non-negotiables are reliability and fair treatment and a strong agent-customer interface.

  • ‘Trust’, ‘Reliability’, ‘Transparency’ and ‘Fair treatment’ are still among the most important qualities sought by customers in their life insurance service provider.

  • Another factor that is very important to the life insurance customer is the heritage/lineage of the brand. Customers are unwilling to put their money in a brand that does not have a credible name or a long standing in the market.

  • Younger customers, the most insurable segment (25-34 year olds) are more loyal than older customers.

  • New customers, who have come on board within the last 6 months are much more disgruntled than last year on all aspects of the onboarding process.

Talking about the brand rankings, Praveen Nijhara, Senior Executive Director, Kantar IMRB & Head, Stakeholder and CX Business, stated, “What changed the game for Max life insurance – The no. 1 brand, in this year’s rankings is the fact that the brand is being perceived to have churned out more innovative products and is seen to be transparent in its dealings with customers.  LIC, despite losing its status as a loyalty leader, continues to enjoy the reputation of being easy to deal with and scores high on its range of products and network of branches as compared to many others. It has lost somewhat to the private players on the innovation front”.

“One must note that customers don’t care as much for abundant choice in products as they do for the product being the right fit and right for their need. Interestingly, we also find that till a few years ago, LIC had enjoyed sole top status in terms of being trustworthy, reliable and ethical, and customers were skeptical of many of the private players. However, over the years this has changed with customers beginning to trust private brands as well. Customer confidence in private insurance brands is on the increase and so is the belief that they are here to stay and can be trusted with their investment.” added Nijhara.

Kantar IMRB Recommendations:-

Bridging the gaps between customer needs and current service delivery levels

  • Continue to educate the customer

  • Invest in the agent

  • Stay in touch or lose your customer

  • Simplify and differentiate the advertising

  • First impressions matter

Improve the online experience

  • Ease of logging on

  • Visual appeal

  • Ease of navigating

  • Clarity of information given on the website

  • Ease of transacting on the website


Brand Rankings


2018 loyalty ranking

Max Life Insurance


SBI Life Insurance


Birla Sun Life Insurance


Life Insurance Corporation of India


ICICI Prudential Life Insurance


Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance


Reliance Nippon Life Insurance


HDFC Life Insurance


Kotak Life Insurance


PNB MetLife Insurance


Bharti AXA Life Insurance


Aviva Life Insurance


IDBI Federal Life Insurance



Please note:-The Relative Rankings are based on a proprietary loyalty framework used by Kantar IMRB, that classifies customers basis their stated behaviour and attitude in the survey



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