LONDON - Ping An maintains title of world’s most valuable insurance brand, with a value of US$26.2 billion, according to latest Brand Finance Insurance 100 report.
• GEICO crowned world’s strongest insurance brand, 2018’s only AAA rated
• European insurance giants Allianz and AXA grow in strength and value
• Metlife brand value bounces back up to US$8.1 billion after spinning off retail business into Brighthouse Financial
Ping An tops the 2018 Brand Finance Insurance 100 league table as the sector’s most valuable brand for the second year running. The Chinese insurer’s brand value grew 60%, or US$9.8 billion, to an all-time high of US$26.2 billion. This result comes on the back of reporting the highest profit in the industry, with new business up 32%. This is due to China remaining more dynamic than more established Western markets and thanks to the brand’s successful policy of introducing and cross-selling new products.
David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, commented:
“Ping An’s brand is safe and well as the company celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The brand’s growing market share and excellent financial results speak for themselves. Ping An’s equity with customers also continues to grow, but the brand needs to remain attentive to other stakeholders’ perceptions too and stay alert to challenges from competitors.”
Rise of Chinese brands
In spite of a difficult year for many insurers, the values of the top 10 brands in the league table have risen by an average of 32%, with many brands changing ranks. Under economic pressures, competition in the sector is fierce and innovation is driving success, exemplified by Ping An’s dominance and the rise of China.
The two brands breaking into the top 10 this year both come from China. CPIC (US$8.7 billion) and PICC (US$7.2 billion) are now positioned sixth and ninth, respectively. Brands from mainland China outperformed brands from other parts of the world, growing at an average rate of 42%. This rise in Chinese brand values is largely due to the decrease in perceived risk, as the businesses grow and become more stable.
GEICO shows strength
At the same time, Ping An has been knocked back into second place in terms of brand strength, as GEICO became the strongest insurance brand in 2018 with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 84.8 out of 100, and the only one achieving an AAA rating. Scoring very highly across multiple metrics in Brand Finance’s customer preference market research, GEICO has shown it is able to maintain high stakeholder equity while also growing the business at a consistent rate, and when up against a year with large natural disasters, including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Allianz and AXA record growth
European giants Allianz and AXA performed well across all geographies in the Brand Finance market research, both jumping up two grades in brand rating to AAA- and AA+ respectively, showing the established brands command global recognition and respect.
Germany’s Allianz has held on to second place in the brand value league table as it edged back above the US$20 billion mark after recording a decline in 2016 and 2017. The 33% year-on-year brand value gain, from US$15.2 billion to US$20.2 billion, was the result of stronger premiums, as Allianz looks for continued growth with significant investments in technology and new markets, including taking a stake in the UK’s LV=.
AXA moved up one position in the brand value table to fourth, trading places with pan-Asian life insurer AIA, following 41% growth to US$13.3 billion.
MetLife’s brand livens up
The United States’ most valuable insurance brand, MetLife, rebounded 23% to US$8.1 billion, after dropping in value last year. Rising from ninth to seventh place, the brand added US$1.5 billion to its value over the past year, arriving just US$46 million shy of its all-time high recorded in 2014. The impressive result comes after spinning off the retail business into the new brand, Brighthouse Financial, last year. The new retail insurance company will likely continue to capitalise on the strength of the MetLife brand for the foreseeable future by using a tagline endorsement in an attempt to transfer valuable stakeholder equity.