Only two insurance organizations rank among the top 50 most valuable brands in the world, according to a ranking published this week—and no insurers hold the highest brand rating of AAA+ awarded by a consultancy.

allianz_flagge2The valuations and ratings published by Brand Finance, a London-based brand valuation and strategy consulting firm, put Allianz in 41st place with a brand value of $20.4 billion. Sitting on top of a list of insurers ranked by Brand Finance in terms of brand value, Allianz also commands a brand rating of AA+.

AXA, with fewer ties to the property/casualty insurance space, ranks 48th among all types of global companies and second among insurers, with a brand value of $19.1 billion and brand rating of AA.

The brand values for the two insurers are less than one-fifth of the value calculated by Brand Finance for the world’s most valuable brand—Apple, which has a value of over $128 billion, according to the firm’s calculations.

Zurich and AIG are the only other P/C insurers among the top 10 insurers globally, and Zurich and Allianz are two of only 10 insurers of any type that hold a AA+ rating from Brand Finance.

Notably, the value for eighth-ranked Zurich increased more than 11 percent this year—rising to $7.6 billion in 2015 compared to $6.8 billion in 2014. The jump was one of only four double-digit gains in value over the past year among P/C insurers operating in the U.S., the other three being Allstate, GEICO and Progressive.

The value for AIG of $6.6 billion, which landed the company in 10th place among insurers, grew less than 2 percent since 2014, while AIG’s rating dropped to AA- for 2015 from AA in 2014.

Like AIG, another insurer designated as a systemically important financial institution by the Financial Stability Oversight Council saw its brand rating drop. For MetLife, the rating fell two notches to AA from AA+ and brand value fell 13 percent to $7.1 billion.

Apart from Zurich, double-digit increases in brand value in the insurance industry tended to be more common among Asian insurers.

Below, we have reproduced the values and rankings of top 25 insurers on Brand Finance’s list ranked by brand valuation. The chart also includes the 2015 and 2014 rankings on the global list of all type of companies. The full ranking of all global companies is available here.

Brand Finance 2015 Valuations Top Insurers

How does Brand Finance determine these values and ratings?

The Brand Finance Global 500 report details a complex calculation of “Brand Value,” described in simple terms as “the net present value of the estimated future cash flows attributable to the brand.”

According to the report, the calculation uses the “Royalty Relief methodology,” determining “the value a company would be willing to pay to license its brand as if it did not own it.”

By determining a value, Brand Finance attempts to bridge the gap between the marketing and financial worlds.

“Skeptical finance teams, unconvinced by what they perceive as marketing mumbo jumbo, may fail to agree [to] necessary investments” for brand building. “What marketing spend there is can end up poorly directed as marketers are left to operate with insufficient financial guidance or accountability,” the report said, suggesting that its values connect brands to the bottom line.

A starting point of the calculation is a “Brand Strength Index,” ranging from 0 to 100. According to Brand Finance, this BSI is calculated “using a balanced scorecard of a number of relevant attributes such as emotional connection, financial performance and sustainability, among others.”

The brand ratings, in turn, are derived from the BSIs. Describing the ratings as conceptually similar to a credit rating, the report said the ratings are benchmarks of the strength, risk and future potential of a brand relative to its competitors on a scale ranging from D to AAA. An AAA+ is “extremely strong,” while AA and A ratings denote “very strong” and “strong” brands.

Powerful Brands: Lego Overtakes Ferrari

Red Building Blocks Spelling Out BrandWhile no insurers had ratings lower than A, the fact that none of them garnered a AAA+ rating means that Brand Finance doesn’t view any of them as “powerful brands.”

Only a dozen companies, with BSIs ranging from 89.5 to 93.4, have the AAA+ ratings that put them in the “power” group, and the closest kin to insurers in the power group are professional services firms PwC and McKinsey.

But not even the two professional services firms were a match for the most powerful brand in the world for any type of company. That honor goes to toymaker Lego, according to Brand Finance.

A movie and a back-to-basics activity in a tech-saturated world were among the characteristics helping Lego to build its brand brick by toy brick.

“It scores highly on a wide variety of measures on Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index, such as familiarity, loyalty, promotion, staff satisfaction and corporate reputation. Lego is a uniquely creative and immersive toy; children love the ability to construct their own worlds that it provides,” Brand Finance said in a statement.

Lego overtook Ferrari, last year’s most powerful brand. “Ferrari is still in a strong position, and its brand value has actually increased 18 percent this year to $4.7 billion,” noted Brand Finance CEO David Haigh.

Brand Finance 2015 Valuations Power Brands

Ferrari’s brand value of under $5 billion and Lego’s value of just $3.8 billion underscore the point that the power of a brand is just one component of Brand Finance’s analysis.

At $24.1 billion, Nike has the highest “brand value” among the “power brands” but ranks 31st on the value ranking dominated at the top by tech companies and telecoms.

Brand Finance 2015 Valuations top

More Information on Branding and Marketing in Insurance

The first-quarter edition of Carrier Management magazine features a special focus on branding in the insurance industry. Carrier Management members can also view the series of articles online, including these titles:

Other related articles and videos about branding include:

Topics Carriers Property Casualty AIG