Canada Life’s brand equity has soared in recent months while other insurers have taken a massive hit as a result of coronavirus, according to industry analysts.
A report by market watchers Brand Finance said the insurer’s brand value grew by an “astonishing” 688% to US$7.8bn in the past year.
That meant it jumped up 72 positions in the Brand Finance Insurance 100 2020 ranking to 14th place.
Analysts at Brand Finance said the brand boost is “largely” down to the “brave” strategic decision by parent company, Great-West Lifeco, that consolidated its Canada Life, London Life, and Great-West Life sub-brands under a single banner, making the company “a far sleeker and more focused operation”.
Overall, the insurance sector has been “heavily impacted” by the COVID-19 pandemic and the analysts believe that brands could lose up to 20% of brand value, equating to a $100bn loss.
Chinese insurers have been the big brand winners in the past 12 months, the analysts said, with Ping An remaining “by far” the world’s most valuable insurance brand with a brand value of $60.6bn.
COVID-19 is “undoubtedly” going to “wreak havoc” on the sector in the coming year – both financially, as brands that already operate on “wafer-thin” margins are being “drowned in claims” and reputationally, as brands which refuse to pay out COVID-19-related claims are risking potential “irreparable” damage.
David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, said the COVID-19 pandemic is going to “hit the insurance sector hard”.
He said: “Brand Finance has predicted that insurance brands could face up to a 20% drop in brand value and undoubtedly, we are going to witness revenue slowdown for all brands across the sector. Some brands should, however, fare better in terms of their margins, including the property and casualty insurance brands, as fewer such claims are expected during the far-reaching and ongoing lockdown period.”
Ping An leads the way for the further 11 Chinese insurance brands that feature in this year’s ranking. With their total brand value reaching $151.5bn, China is home to the most valuable insurance brands in the world.
Five Chinese brands feature in the top 10: Ping An; China Life (down 10% to $23.6bn); AIA (up 17% to $18.2bn); CPIC (up 31% to $14.0bn) and PICC (up 20% to $11bn).
Their combined brand value equates to over 80% of the total Chinese brand value in the ranking, demonstrating the distinctive gap between the “Leading 5” Chinese insurance brands and their counterparts further down the league table.
Brand Finance analysts said Poste Italiane has successfully leveraged its “strong” territorial network of over 12,000 post offices and its “highly developed” digital services to reach its 35 million clients in Italy, across its key business areas including logistics, banking, and financial services.
Haigh said: “Poste Italiane’s perfect combination of ubiquity, accessibility, world-class product offering, excellent reputation, and transparency, makes the brand the strongest insurance brand globally.”