Entering the annual New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards is a great way to showcase your achievements, gain recognition for your successes and promote your business to staff, customers, shareholders and business partners.

We understand the effort, emotion and time that go into writing an Awards submission. Judges are only allowed to use the information provided in a submission, so putting effort into your document is important. Across most categories, the top few submissions can be within one or two marks of each other. Remember, the judges have many entries to evaluate in some categories so make yours memorable and easy to read.

The following guidelines and tips give an insight into the judging process for the Awards and will assist you to write an award-winning submission.


Judges are well-respected, senior insurance professionals selected from across the industry. They volunteer their time to participate in the judging process.

Judges are bound by confidentiality and recuse themselves when there is a potential conflict. The judging panel is overseen by a presiding judge.

There are two parts to the judging process. In the first part, each judge independently reads, reviews and marks every submission across all categories. The judges then submit their marking sheets and scores to ANZIIF, which collates them and creates a list of finalists who will receive particular consideration on judging day.

Part 2 is a judging day where all the judges are present. Judges discuss submissions against the criteria for that category. Each judge then confidentially ranks the relevant submissions in each category and provides their rankings to EY, which aggregates the rankings to determine the winners. Judges are not privy to the winners in each category until they are announced on the evening of the Awards.

Sponsorship management and judging are completely separate processes, and sponsors play no part in the determination of finalists or winners. Each submission is assessed on merit against the judging criteria.


When you enter your submission this year, you are required to declare your word count. Submissions that exceed the word limit by more than 10 per cent will have a 10 per cent penalty automatically deducted from their marks.

Word count software is used to verify your declared word limit. Note: Words in images/charts/graphs etc are counted towards your word count.

As a general principle, if you are directing the judges to read something as part of your submission then it is included in the word count. An allowance is applied to account for headers, footers, title pages and repetitions of the question so you do not need to include those in your calculations.

Pay attention to the weighting of each question, as this will help you to decide where to focus your efforts. Make sure that your language is concise and purposeful; for example, judges are familiar with Net Promoter Scores, so don’t waste words explaining them. Use diagrams and tables, as these can be a more efficient way of communicating your point.


In recent years, some submissions have failed to address all of the criteria for their category. Because the judges’ scoring sheet is aligned to the criteria, it is important that you address each one. If you do not address a criterion, you will receive no marks for it, making it much less likely that your entry will be the winning one.

For some criteria, you may be asked to address several parts of a question. The total points allocated to each criterion will generally reflect this. For example, a three-part question may be worth 15 marks in total, with each part marked out of five. If you only answer one part of a multi-part question, your mark will be awarded accordingly.

Judges can only base their decisions on the information you provide in your submission, so make sure that you answer each part of each question thoroughly.

Again, check the weighting of different criteria to determine which questions require the most attention.

Submissions that fail to address any of the criteria — for instance, by using a previous year’s criteria or providing information that does not address any of the criteria — will be automatically disqualified and not sent to the judges.


Avoid making vague or unsupported claims. Award-winning submissions always include data and evidence because doing so ensures credibility and believability.

A general claim such as ‘Customer satisfaction increased’ is much stronger when evidence is given: ‘Customer satisfaction increased by 20 per cent, as demonstrated in the graph below.’ It is not necessary to be concerned about the confidentiality of your information when providing evidence, as all judges sign confidentiality agreements and are excluded from reviewing or participating in categories in which they may have a conflict of interest.


The 2018 Awards are for the period of 1 April 2017 - 31 March 2018 (unless otherwise stated), and they relate to your New Zealand business operations only.

Please ensure that this is reflected in your response.

Winning submissions answer the criteria in the order which it is presented, as this reflects the order on the judges’ scoring sheet. When addressing each criterion, write it at the top of the page, presenting all your responses within a single document. Make your submission less text-heavy by including graphs, diagrams, illustrations, charts and images, as these visual elements can enhance your entry’s readability.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money or time on presenting the most creative or visually appealing submission. A well-written, thoughtful response presented as a Microsoft Word document will attain a higher score than a submission that is very creative but doesn’t address the criteria.

Have an independent party proofread your submission to ensure that you have answered the criteria and to check spelling, grammar and syntax.
Be careful about recycling award entries from prior years, as judging criteria and focus can vary substantially from year to year.


A good submission requires a great deal of work, so don’t be tempted to enter into lots of categories unless there is a good reason for you to do so. When, in the past, companies have entered into a number of categories, they have inevitably failed to address the specific criteria for each category.


The New Zealand Insurance Industry Awards celebrate excellence. The judging panel have the right not to award a category if they do not believe that the submissions meet this standard. In this event, entrants will be notified that the category will not be awarded.


Only the presiding judge can vary criteria. Requests for variation must be made in writing to Joanne Simpson at Please allow five working days for a written response, which will include any conditions associated with the change in criteria.


In exceptional circumstances, the deadline for submission may be extended by a maximum of three working days. Requests for variation, along with an explanation as to why you are seeking the variation, must be made in writing to Joanne Simpson at Please allow one working day for a written response, which will include any conditions associated with the change in deadline.


Submissions can be made online at Submissions via any other method will not be accepted.


Company-based award finalists, Broking Professional of the Year finalists and Young Insurance Professional of the Year finalists will be notified in writing within three working days of judging day. Insurance Leader of the Year and ANZIIF Lifetime Achievement Award finalists will remain confidential.

Announcement of finalists will be made in a media release as well as in an email to the ANZIIF member base.

Please ensure that you carefully complete the cover sheet that must be included with your submission so that the correct company name is included in the announcements.


Please note that if only one submission is received for a particular category, judges will award that category based on the merit of the submission and finalists will not be announced.


If you’re in doubt or need help, give ANZIIF a call. The team are well versed in the awards criteria and can answer any questions you have about the criteria or the process. No question is a silly question, and asking us may help you to improve your submission. Please contact Joanne Simpson on 09 379 7128 or via email

Note: When sending your submission, please don’t send as a locked PDF file and please ensure all pages of your submission are numbered.

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