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Aviva health insurance - is it any good?

Wondering if Aviva health insurance is right for you? Dive into our detailed review to explore their policies, cover options, and more

A photo of Grace Lynch, the author

By Grace Lynch

Published on: 10 April 2023

16 min read

Aviva health insurance – is it any good?

Aviva’s got a great reputation and are one of the biggest general insurance providers in the UK. You see adverts for Aviva and their branding everywhere, making them an instantly recognisable brand for most UK consumers.

Aviva is definitely what you could refer to as an ‘insurance giant’ based on the huge range of policies that they have available. Before I spent years learning about insurance policies and providers, I didn’t even realise that Aviva sold health insurance (mostly associating them with pensions and life insurance) and hadn’t seen much advertised surrounding their health cover.

It’s fair to ask whether Aviva can offer great quality for their health insurance policies considering they have such a wide range of general insurance products available. Smaller health insurance providers might have a stronger focus on health insurance which can be appealing for some consumers.

I do think Aviva offers pretty good value for money in terms of the health insurance products they provide, the level of customer service on offer, and all the additional benefits that you can get your hands on. The question you need to ask yourself is whether Aviva covers all the things that are most important to you within your health insurance or if another provider might be a better fit.

QUICK SUMMARY – Aviva health insurance review

Aviva is a well established insurance completely UK with a great reputation and millions of customers. Their private medical insurance is designed to help you cover the cost of top quality private medical care – with a few extra benefits thrown in as a bonus.

  • Watch out for how many hospitals you can claim for treatment in. Aviva will give you their guided ‘Expert Select’ option (gives you a short list of specialists when you claim) as standard unless you pay extra to add a longer hospital list(s).
  • There is a solid range of different health insurance policies available from Aviva including cover for you, your family and even your business. You just need to think about what type of cover best suits your own situation.
  • One stand out feature for me with Aviva is their cancer cover. Aviva offers some of the best cancer care benefits on the market at no extra charge, including full cover for treatment and unlimited cover for monitoring and aftercare (for 5 years).
  • You should think about what is most important to you to cover and if Aviva feels like a good fit for the policy you need. You can speak to a health insurance specialist for extra help and advice with this.

Aviva’s definitely been one of the biggest names in UK insurance for over 10 years (since they rebranded from their previous name Norwich Union in 2009). It’s unlikely that you live in the UK and have never heard of Aviva – even if you’re not 100% sure of what their policies do or what products are available.

I myself have had an Aviva pension set up for me in the past and I knew some of the policies they sold. To be fair, until I looked into Aviva in greater detail a few years ago I didn’t realise that they sold health insurance too. Aviva actually offers a solid range of health insurance products for UK consumers with benefits like:

  • Enhanced cancer care option
  • Can skip long NHS waiting lists
  • Variety of different policies to suit different customers
  • Award-winning insurance provider with a strong record for good customer service

Why should I choose Aviva over another insurance provider?

Choosing your health insurance provider is a more personal decision than some people may realise, as ultimately you need to choose the insurer that works best for your own situation. Aviva is a popular option with a lot of UK consumers, probably because of the strength of their brand and their good reputation.

I can’t say whether you should choose Aviva over another provider because different providers may have benefits which appeal to you. Or Aviva could be the perfect choice for your policy- it really depends on you and what you want from your health cover.

Some of your other options for health insurance policies in the UK are:

I’d always suggest looking carefully at all your options before making a choice when buying a new insurance policy. Although Aviva has the power of a big name, you might find that some of the smaller insurance providers offer benefits that fit what you need better.

Who does Aviva health insurance work best for?

So, there is something that you should know which is that Aviva health insurance will work better for certain types of customers compared to others.

  1. Younger customers – Aviva offers attractive benefits and decent pricing for customers who are on the younger side. Older customers may be better off looking at providers like Bupa or the Exeter for a better price.
  2. Smokers – Smokers often get stuck with higher rates for policies like life insurance or health insurance because of the health risks that are associated with smoking or vaping. From what I’ve seen Aviva tends to offer fairer pricing for smokers compared to other insurers.
  3. Families – I’d say Aviva is one of the better choices for family health insurance (particularly young families), with benefits such as cash bonuses for childbirth and free cover for newborn babies.

How much does Aviva health insurance cost per month?

Of course you’re going to want to know how much you could expect to pay for Aviva health insurance. The problem is not everybody’s going to pay the same price because the cost of your policy will be based on factors like:

  • How old you are
  • The type of cover you want (e.g. core cover or enhanced)
  • How much you will pay towards the cost of any claim (excess)
  • If you want to add any extra benefits
  • Claims history
  • Where you live (post code)

How can I save money on Aviva health insurance?

Don’t worry there’s some simple ways that you can save a bit of money on health insurance from Aviva. my top tips to help you payless per month are:

  • Consider choosing reduced cover or a six week wait option (this is where you would use NHS treatment if they can treat you within six weeks of diagnosis)
  • Stick with Expert Select (aviva’s guided cover option) rather than adding an hospital lists
  • Agree to pay more excess when you need to claim (make sure the amount of excess you choose is still affordable for you)

I can’t answer whether Aviva health insurance is going to be worth the money that you spend for every single customer, because everyone is different. Some people will be more than happy with the service and benefits offered by Aviva and others might feel like they could get a better deal elsewhere.

I do think Aviva offers pretty good value for money for their customers, with available benefits such as:

  • 24 hour well being services such as stress counselling and mental health support from qualified professionals
  • Aviva’s get active scheme can provide some great discounts for memberships at over 3,000 different UK health and fitness clubs or gyms
  • Cancer care included as standard
  • Choice of treatment at over 200 hospitals included within Aviva’s most basic health insurance policies (with the option to upgrade your cover)
  • Option to add on additional benefits (for an extra cost) such as dental and optical cover, enhanced mental health support or cover for minor GP surgeries (up to £100 per surgery)
  • NO limit for yearly claims, so you can claim as much as you need to without worrying about hitting a limit and being stuck with any extra bills

Even though Aviva does have all these benefits, it’s important to remember that Aviva health insurance or health insurance from other providers might not always be affordable. Before you buy health insurance policy from Aviva (or anyone else), you should stop and think about whether it’s worth it for you and your family or business.

You should think about:

  • Whether you would be happy to be treated by the NHS for most of your health concerns
  • Will the benefits provided by Aviva be worth the money you’re paying each month for your policy?
  • Do you have any savings that you could rely on if you needed to cover the cost of private healthcare?
  • Is private medical treatment something that you would say is a priority for you and your loved ones?

Health insurance can definitely be confusing or hard to understand for people who’ve never bought it before. Even if you have a current health insurance policy, things might work a little differently if you switch to a new provider.

There’s a lot of options available for Aviva health cover which can make things feel a bit complicated. Here’s all the important things that you need to know about buying Aviva health insurance. First, there are three main options for cover available:

  1. Aviva Core cover – the standard level of cover offered by Aviva
  2. Aviva Enhanced cover – a higher level of cover (will have to pay more for this)
  3. Aviva Reduced cover – less cover but still includes some good benefits (a cost-effective option for people with a lower budget)

You will be given Aviva ‘Expert Select’ as a default option when buying health insurance, which is a lower cost guided option. This means that when you claim Aviva would give you a short list of recommended local hospitals, rather than a full list of specialists to choose from. If you want a higher level of cover, you can pay to add between one and three hospitalists to your policy.

  1. Aviva Key hospital list – can claim for medical treatment in over 200 private hospitals approved by Aviva
  2. Aviva Extended hospital list – gives you access to more hospitals and specialists (mostly in the Greater London area)
  3. Aviva Signature hospital list – a reduced cover option which can be helpful on a tighter budget. This is something I’d suggest considering if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland, as this list is cheaper as it doesn’t include English or Welsh hospitals.
  4. Aviva Trust hospital list – another low cost option, only allows you to claim for treatment in private units within NHS Trust and partner hospitals

After deciding on the type of policy and what hospital list you want (if any), you’ll need to choose whether you want to add on any extra benefits for higher level of cover. This is completely up to you and a lot of people are happy to stick with the basic level of cover that Aviva has.

Popular benefits that have Aviva customers choose to add on include:

  • Dental and optical cover
  • Enhanced mental health cover
  • Protected no claims discount

What types of health insurance does Aviva sell?

A key thing that you’ll need to think about without buying health insurance is what type of policy you need. This can feel a little bit difficult sometimes when trying to find the right cover, but luckily Aviva does have quite a few options available. Chances are they’ll have a policy that’s suitable for most people.

Have a look at the policy types and how they work to figure out which one would feel like a good fit for your own situation. And of course, I’d suggest looking at what other providers are offering too, as someone else could offer extra benefits that would suit you. Aviva sells:

Type of policyAviva Private Medical Insurance
Policy optionsCore health cover
Enhanced health cover
Reduced health cover
Range of policiesIndividual health insurance
Family health insurance
Couples health insurance (joint cover)
Business health insurance (multiple policies available)
What is included in my policy?With Aviva core health insurance cover, you will be able to claim for:  

In patient private hospital treatment
Cancer treatments
Cancer after care and monitoring
Out patient diagnostic tests and treatment
Out patient mental health treatment
NHS cash benefits (pays out £100 per night for NHS hospital stays)
Baby bonus pay outs for when you have a new child  

*enhanced cover and reduced cover will include slightly different benefits. These will be detailed in the policy documents.
Is there anything Aviva won’t cover?Aviva will not cover the cost of:  

Pre-existing medical conditions
Chronic (long term) medical conditions
Pregnancy or childbirth
Birth control
Fertility treatments
Treatment due to drug or alcohol misuse
Cosmetic surgery
Self inflicted injury
Experimental treatments
Treatment in hospitals not approved by Aviva
How long does Aviva health insurance cover you for?You will be covered by your policy for 1 year (12 months) from your policy start date.  
You can renew your cover for another year in the weeks before your policy is due to end.
Where can I claim for medical treatment with Aviva?You will be able to claim for medical treatments within the UK (including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man)
Levels of cover availableThere are 3 levels of cover available:  

Core cover
Enhanced cover
Reduced cover  

You can also choose between Expert Select, which is a ‘guided’ cover option (gives you a short list of specialists) or adding hospital lists.
When will I pay for Aviva health insurance?You can pay monthly or annually for Aviva health insurance policies.

If we’re being honest cancer is probably the biggest medical concern for most people in the UK. if you want private medical care for cancer you could be looking at massive bills without the support of a policy like health insurance.

finding health insurance with decent cancer cover is something that’s a main priority for most people – myself included. As someone who’s lost a parent and several close family members to cancer, I know I’m a higher risk so it would be reassuring to have the right protection in place.

Out of all the health insurance providers, I’d say Aviva offers some of the best cover for cancer. Aviva offers some great options for cancer care with benefits like:

  • Full cover for chemotherapy radiotherapy and targeted therapy
  • NHS cancer cash benefit will pay up to 100 pound a day/night if you choose to have NHS cancer treatment
  • covers you from diagnosis right through to palliative care if needed
  • unlimited cover for monitoring cancer following cancer treatment
  • unlimited cover for any ongoing medical needs for up to five years following cancer treatment
  • Covers additional support such as bone strengthening drugs, prosthetics and stem cell or bone marrow transplants

If you have health conditions it can be frustrating applying for health insurance, as generally insurers will not pay out for treatment of your medical condition. Most insurance providers aren’t going to cover medical conditions you had before you bought the policy.

Aviva might cover treatment of certain medical conditions, but it depends on the type of underwriting you choose when you apply. underwriting is just how insurers determine the level of risk have you claiming on your policy. you can choose:

  1. Full medical underwriting – this can be a longer process, but you’ll know straight away whether Aviva will refuse to pay out for your medical conditions. It can also make claiming easier because Aviva already knows about your medical history.
  2. Moratorium underwriting – you won’t need to answer any medical questions which will make the application process quicker. Aviva might consider covering medical conditions that you have, if you go two years without symptoms or treatment from the date you buy your policy.
ProCon
Great level of cancer cover included as standard with all policiesYou can add dental cover but the amount of cover is more limited than other providers (£250 cover at most)
No claims discount option is availableCan’t add on travel cover or overseas medical treatment cover (an option with some other providers)
Access to Aviva rewards, support services (24/7 Digital GP etc) and multi person discounts for family or joint coverYou will be given Aviva ‘Expert Select’ as default which is a more limited range of hospitals for treatment (can add hospital lists for an extra cost)
Cover for your youngest child (under 19) is free if you buy cover for 2 or more childrenUsually won’t cover pre-existing or chronic medical conditions (standard for most insurers)

There’s nothing worse than needing to ask your insurance provider a question or to change something like a policy and you can’t get in touch with them. Luckily Aviva has one main contact number for the health insurance team which is much easier than other providers with multiple different numbers.

Aviva health insurance contact number (UK)

Tel. 0800 068 3827

Opening hours: 8.30am – 6pm Monday to Friday

Should I buy Aviva diagnostics insurance?

If you’re doing your research into Aviva (as you should if you’re looking for a new policy), you might come across a product called Aviva ‘Speedy Diagnostics’. Don’t be tricked into thinking this is full health insurance because it isn’t, but it can be a useful alternative for people with a lower budget.

Aviva designed this policy specifically to help cover the cost of diagnosis – you won’t be able to claim for the cost of any treatments once you’ve been diagnosed. to be fair this might work well for some people, especially if you’re more than happy to be treated on the NHS generally.

Speedy diagnostics will cover the cost of:

  • Diagnostic tests EG MRI scans X-rays CT scans or ECGs
  • hospital fees or specialist charges (in patient/day patient) up until diagnosis
  • You will still have access to Aviva’s well-being services e.g. 24/7 digital GP and their member rewards and discounts
  • The policy will also include no claims discount which can help you save money year on year if you don’t need to claim on your policy

It’s tough to say whether it’s worth buying Aviva diagnostic insurance rather than a traditional health insurance policy because it depends on what is most important to you to cover. You will lose out on a lot of benefits compared to full private health insurance, but if your main concern is about getting diagnosed quickly this can be a lower cost option worth considering.

Is it easy to claim on Aviva health insurance?

It’s understandable to want to know how smooth the claim process is for an insurance company, especially with something like health insurance where you may end up claiming multiple times in a year.

I’d say Aviva’s claims process is straight forward compared to other providers like Bupa where there are multiple different numbers are called depending on the type of claim.

With Aviva there’s one contact number for health insurance claims which makes it easier to know who you need to speak to.

Aviva health insurance claims contact number

Tel. 0800 068 3827

Opening hours: 8.30am – 6pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 1pm Saturday

Here’s what you need to do to submit a health insurance claim with Aviva.

  1. Visit your own GP about your symptoms and get an open referral for the treatment you need
  2. Call and speak to a member of Aviva’s claims team
  3. Be given a list of local hospitals/specialists recommended by Aviva or choose from your extended hospital list (depends on the policy you have)
  4. Book an appointment with the specialist of your choice (handily Aviva can transfer you straight through to them from your claims call)
  5. Have the treatment you need and Aviva will handle the bill directly with the specialist/hospital you’ve picked

You never go into buying a policy assuming you’re going to cancel, but it’s best to be realistic as sometimes policies won’t live up to our expectations. if you decide you want to cancel your Aviva health insurance policy, all you need to do is call Aviva or write to them and let them know.

Annoyingly you’re not always going to get your money back after cancelling, unless you cancel within the initial 14 day ‘cooling off’ period. If you paid annually you might be entitled to some money back, based on how many months are left in your policy year.

Aviva health insurance cancellation contact details

Tel. 0800 092 4590

Post:

Aviva Health UK Limited,

Chilworth House,

Hampshire Corporate Park,

Templars Way,

Eastleigh,

Hampshire,

SO53 3RY

I personally hate having to complain about products or services, but it’s something we’re all entitled to do if we’re not happy with what we’ve bought. Insurers can get things wrong and leave you unhappy with the policy or customer service that you’ve received.

if you’re not happy with your Aviva health insurance policy, I’d suggest talking to Aviva before you do anything else. insurance companies (particularly big ones like Aviva) understand that they’re not always perfect and have systems and procedures in place for when they get a complaint.

Aviva’s website states that if you complain you will need to let them know:

  • Your name
  • Other personal details e.g. policy number
  • Details about your policy or claim
  • Reason you are complaining
  • How you would ideally like the claim to be resolved

Something that works well for consumers is the fact that companies don’t like to have a reputation for poor customer service, so they will try and handle complaints as quickly and smoothly as possible.

If you think the complaint’s been handled poorly or you’re just not happy with the outcome, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service FOS Advice and support. The purpose of the FOS is to help resolve issues fairly between financial services businesses (like insurance companies) and their customers.

Financial Ombudsman Service contact details

Tel. 0800 023 4567 (or 0300 123 9123)

Tel. 0207 964 0500 (overseas)

Should I read Aviva health insurance reviews?

I’d always recommend reading some customer reviews before buying a new health insurance policy. it’s just sensible to get a feel for what other people think of the insurance provider you’re considering and if there’s any red flags that you should know about.

The best place to look for independent customer reviews is a website like TrustPilot, which is well known and isn’t controlled by Aviva themselves. the downside of trusting customer reviews on an insurance provider’s website is that they may not highlight any more negative comments.

Based on TrustPilot scores, Aviva is actually pretty highly rated among their customers.

Aviva Insurance (TrustPilot score) – 4.0 out of 5.0 stars (with over 30,000 reviews)

% of 5 star reviews – 73% of reviews rated Aviva 5.0 out of 5.0 stars

% of 4 star reviews – 9% of reviews rated Aviva 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

% of 3 star reviews – 2% of reviews rated Aviva 3.0 out of 5.0 stars

% of 2 star reviews – 1% of reviews rated Aviva 2.0 out of 5.0 stars

% of 1 star reviews – 15% of reviews rated Aviva 1.0 out of 5.0 stars

One thing that I would be most interested in is the fact that while Aviva does have over 70% of their reviews as 5.0 out of 5.0 stars, 15% of reviewers only rated Aviva 1.0 star. This is a pretty significant number, so my question would be why are so many people rating Aviva this low.

When I had a closer look most of the issues seemed to come from Aviva’s car insurance policies. it’s important to remember with websites like TrustPilot that you will be getting reviews based on all of Aviva’s products and services not just their health insurance policies.

How do I buy Aviva health insurance?

There are a few different ways to buy health insurance from Aviva. You can:

  1. Apply with Aviva directly
  2. Check prices and apply through a price comparison site
  3. Apply with the help of a health insurance expert

You’ve got a variety of different options here and it’s all about what would work best for you and your own situation. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to find the right policy, you’re best off speaking to a health insurance specialist.

It might seem like extra hassle, but an expert can take some of the work of research and comparison off your hands. They will listen to what you need, offer their advice and compare policies from across the market to find the best prices more quickly.

For free health insurance advice, you can speak to our trusted health insurance partner by calling 0800 009 6559 or simply click here.

More health insurance guides

If you want to find out more about health insurance, here are some of our top MPO health insurance guides.

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