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Aviva Life Insurance Review

Here's a handy summary of Aviva Life Insurance containing all the info in one place

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 30 October 2022

10 min read

Aviva Life Insurance Review

If you live in the UK, you have probably heard of Aviva at some point, with them running a massive ‘It takes Aviva’ TV advertising campaign back in 2021.  

They are one of the UK biggest and best-known insurance providers, so you most likely have someone in your life who has a policy or pension through this provider – you may even have one yourself. 

In this independent review, we aim to explain in detail Aviva’s history, how their life insurance products work and the potential benefits you can receive. With something as crucial as protecting your loved ones, doing some research can be key to making sure the cover you choose is right for you. 

Why choose Aviva life insurance? 

Choosing your life insurance provider is a big decision that can have a huge impact on your family’s future, so it is important to get it right if you can.  

Aviva is an award-winning company with awards across several industries and categories. They are winners of the Global Good Awards 2021 and 2022 for climate action, were named as one of the Times Top 50 Employers for Women in 2021 and 2022 and have charity partnerships with the WWF and British Red Cross. If being involved with an ethical and socially conscientious business is important to your values, Aviva has this covered. 

About Aviva 

The business behind Aviva has been a key fixture in the UK insurance industry for hundreds of years, with its earliest ancestor company the Hand in Hand being founded in 1696. Interestingly, they actually began in fire insurance not life insurance, with this business once being known as the oldest fire insurance office in the world.  

Aviva have been many business and had name changes throughout the years, with Norwich Union Life Insurance Society purchasing the Amicable Society in 1866. This was followed by Hand in Hand being bought by Commercial Union in 1905. 

There were then no more major changes until 1998, when Commercial Union became CGU plc after merging with General Accident. They then reunited with Norwich Union in 2000, becoming CGNU plc, with this company rebranding as Aviva in 2002. They still retained various other brands and names, including Norwich Union until this also became Aviva in 2009. 

You can find out more interesting facts about Aviva here.

Some main areas that Aviva plc is well known for include: 

  • Life insurance 
  • Car insurance 
  • Home insurance 
  • Health insurance 
  • Savings & Investments 
  • Pensions 

Aviva is one of the UK’s top insurance providers, having paid out £1,094,919,735 in claims in 2021 (individual protection). They have been one of the UK’s most trusted insurance companies for over 300 years, providing cover to protect both families and businesses. 

Life insurance is one of the main products they are known for, with thousands of people across the UK having an Aviva policy in place.  

These are some of the key features about Aviva life insurance: 

Policy type Life insurance 
Premium options Guaranteed premiums (fixed) 
Reviewable premiums (variable) 
Cover options Aviva level term life insurance (family protection). 
Aviva decreasing life insurance (also known as Aviva mortgage life insurance)
Increasing life insurance (indexed). 
Over 50s life insurance. 
Whole of life cover. 
Family income benefit. 
Coverage type Single life. 
Joint life (first death). 
Terminal illness cover benefit Aviva term life insurance policies include terminal illness cover as standard and this will pay out if you are diagnosed with a condition that has a life expectancy of 12 months or less 
Waiver of Premium benefit Can be added to your policy as an additional benefit. You will not need to pay premiums if unable to work due to an accident. 
Indexation option (RPI) Increasing cover option to annually track RPI (Retail Price Index) to a maximum of 10% per annum. Premiums will increase at a rate of 1.5 times RPI up to a maximum of 15% per annum. 
Age limits (minimum and maximum ages) Minimum age 18 at entry.  
Maximum age 77 years at entry (age 80 for over 50s cover) 
Life insurance exclusions Suicidal death within the first 12 months of the policy start date. Terminal illness where the condition or illness does not meet the criteria of the policy definitions. 

Learn more about how life insurance works in our MPO Life Insurance Guide.

Occasionally, you may need to speak to Aviva regarding a new or existing life insurance policy. There are several different contact numbers, and it can be confusing to know which to call, so we have highlighted each of these below for you. 

If you have taken out your policy through a broker or 3rd party provider, you might have to get in touch with them directly rather than Aviva in some cases. 

Aviva life insurance contact number (advice) 

Tel. 0800 015 1142  
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-6pm 

Aviva life insurance contact number for new customers  

Tel. 0800 068 5549 to get an Aviva life insurance quote or you can fill in a quote form online. 
Opening hours: 8:00AM-6:00PM Monday to Friday 

Aviva life insurance contact number for existing customers 

Tel. 0800 285 1098 for policies bought after February 2015 
Tel. 0800 404 9538 for policies bought before February 2015 
Opening hours: 8:00AM-6:00PM Monday to Friday 

Aviva critical illness cover 

Aviva also offers critical illness cover, either as a standalone product or alongside your life insurance policy. Aviva critical illness insurance can be a worthwhile policy to have in place, paying out to you if you are diagnosed with one of up to 53 medical conditions.  

Here are some of the key features of Aviva critical illness insurance: 

Policy type Critical illness insurance 
Premium options Guaranteed premiums (fixed) 
Reviewable premiums (variable) 
Cover options Level term critical illness cover (family protection) 
Decreasing term critical illness cover (mortgage protection) 
Increasing critical illness cover (Indexed) 
Coverage type Single life. 
Joint life. 
Illnesses covered by core plan option 53 conditions covered overall  
42 conditions covered (100% payout) 
11 conditions covered (partial payout of 20% of the sum assured or £20,000, whichever is lower) 
Low grade breast or prostate cancer will be paid either £25,000 or 25% of the sum assured (whichever is lower) 
Children’s Critical illness insurance core plan option Included free automatically with a critical illness insurance policy for children up until the age of 18, or 21 if in full time education. Pays out a maximum of 50% of the sum assured or up to £25,000 
Children’s Critical illness insurance enhanced plan option Upgraded cover is available at an extra cost 
Age limits (minimum and maximum ages) Minimum age 18 at entry Maximum age 64 at entry 
Critical illness insurance exclusions The policy will not pay out if the illness is not included in your policy terms or the policyholder dies within 10 days of diagnosis. 

Learn more key facts about critical illness cover in our MPO Critical Illness Insurance Review.

Find out even more in our guides ‘How do critical illness claims work?’ and ‘How does critical illness insurance work?’.

Having to make a life insurance claim can be a difficult time for someone who is recently bereaved, so insurers will do their best to help make this process easier for you. Below are some details that you may find useful if you need to claim with Aviva. 

How to make an Aviva life insurance claim 

When making a claim there are several details Aviva’s life insurance team will need from you. It is best (if possible) to have this information to hand before contacting Aviva to submit your claim: 

  • The name of the deceased 
  • Your relationship with them  
  • Their cause of death 
  • Your contact details 
  • Death certificate 
  • The policy number (will be on policy documents or on direct debit references) 
  • Estate details of the deceased (e.g. a will or trust deed) 

What happens next with your claim 

  • You will need to send the original death certificate (not a copy) plus any other necessary documents 
  • Timescales for payment can vary but Aviva aims to pay out within 5 working days of approving the claim and having all the relevant documents 
  • If you have a trust in place, your beneficiaries should be able to receive their pay out faster due to avoidance of legal processes like probate 

Aviva life insurance claims contact details 

Aviva life insurance claims statistics 2021 

Here we have the top statistics for Aviva in 2021 across life insurance, critical illness cover, and income protection insurance claims. 

  • Total paid out: £1,094,919,735  
  • Customers paid out: 49,954 
  • Percentage of claims paid: 99.4% individual protection 
  • Over the last 5 years, Aviva has paid out around £5billion in insurance payouts 
  • Around £3million in payouts were paid every day to individual protection customers 
  • More than 53,700 families benefitted from insurance payouts from Aviva  

Many providers give you the option of putting your life insurance in a trust and Aviva is no exception to this. This applies to both new and existing policies and you can have a trust with both standard life insurance and over 50s cover. 

The main benefits of an Aviva life insurance trust 

  • Can be a lower cost alternative to a will (usually free) 
  • Allows you to specify exactly who receives the benefit from your policy (through beneficiaries and trustees) 
  • Can avoid probate so beneficiaries receive the pay out more quickly 
  • Can help to avoid or reduce Inheritance Tax (40%) 
  • Aviva Discretionary Gift Trust is flexible, allowing you to add new beneficiaries over time 
  • Aviva Survivor Trust ensures a pay out to the remaining partner following a partner’s death when in a joint life cover policy (if they are alive 31 days after their spouse or partner passes away) 

Types of available Aviva trust deed: 

  • Aviva Discretionary Gift Trust: can be used for single or joint life insurance policies 
  • Aviva Survivor Trust: can be used for joint life insurance policies (but excludes critical illness cover) 

How to cancel Aviva life insurance 

Many people think once life insurance is in place, it is set in stone and cannot be changed. This isn’t true and with any life insurance policy, including with Aviva, you have the option to review or cancel your policy at any point. 

There are many reasons you may cancel your policy, from switching to a better deal or a new provider or simply because you cannot afford the price you are paying anymore. 

The main ways to cancel your Aviva life insurance policy: 

  • Cancel the direct debit with your bank or building society 
  • Contact Aviva directly via email or phone call (Aviva life insurance cancellation is currently unavailable online or via the MyAviva App) 

Aviva has a standard 30 day ‘cooling off’ period from the date your policy starts (or when your policy documents arrive if this is later). If you cancel your policy during this time for any reason, the premium you have paid will be refunded. 

Learn more about how to cancel a life insurance policy or how to review your cover to save money on your policy.

Aviva life insurance benefits (included free) 

There are many benefits available if you take out a policy with Aviva and some of these are even available at no extra cost.  

Here are a list of benefits that are available free with Aviva life insurance policies: 

  • Free Parent Life Cover where you can get 12 months’ worth of cover for free with no bank details required. This offers £15,000 of cover for each parent and each can apply for one policy per child. The child(ren) must be under 4 years old. 
  • Free children’s critical illness cover is included automatically with Aviva critical illness insurance policies 
  • Accelerated surgery cover will pay out if you have critical illness cover and are put on an NHS waiting list 
  • Terminal illness benefit is included free of charge with all Aviva life insurance policies 
  • Separation benefit will allow you to split up your joint life insurance policy into two single life insurance policies if you were to separate or divorce 
  • Aviva DigiCare+ smartphone app is included for free with any life insurance+ policy, providing access to health support services, annual health checks and nutrition and mental health consultations and more 
  • House purchase cover is included with life insurance+ policies and provides free cover for up to 90 days if your application is accepted while you are buying a house. This will pay out £500,000 if you die before completing the purchase of a new home. 
  • Life change benefit can be included if your policy is accepted on standard terms and will allow you to increase your cover in response to life changes e.g. a marriage or birth of a child 

There are also optional benefits that can be added to your life insurance policy (usually for an additional cost). These include: 

  • Fracture cover can be added to critical illness+ or life insurance+ policies and will provide £6,000 for fractures specified in the policy terms 
  • Global treatment cover can be added to critical illness+ or life insurance+ policies which gives you access to medical care if taken ill or injured overseas 
  • Critical illness cover can be added onto your life insurance policy which will provide you with a lump sum if diagnosed with a serious illness during the policy term 
  • Waiver of premium (premium protection) will pay your insurance premiums for you if you cannot work due to an accident or injury 
  • Total Permanent Disability can be added onto your critical illness cover and will pay out if you are unable to ever work again due to permanent illness or injury 
  • Extra Care Cover can be added onto life insurance+ with critical illness cover or critical illness cover+ policies. This will pay out an additional £50,000 if you receive a critical illness claim and the illness has a ‘prolonged life changing impact’ 
  • Aviva upgraded critical illness cover or children’s critical illness benefit can provide even more extensive cover 

There are several ways you can buy a new life insurance policy with Aviva or switch providers. You can:

You can fill in a contact form on their website and one of their insurance experts will be in touch to discuss your options for cover. They will help you assess the choices available so you can ensure you are choosing the best policy for your needs.  

Find out more about how to buy life insurance and other related topics in some of our other MPO guides. We have guides for:

Aviva life insurance reviews 

Aviva life insurance reviews can be found on the independent review website Trust Pilot, where they are currently rated 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.  

75% of Aviva’s Trust Pilot reviews have 5.0 out of 5.0 star ratings. 

You can read independent reviews from real customers about their experience with this business which will be from both new and existing customers. 

You also have the option of writing your own review for Aviva life insurance on their TrustPilot page.

Resources

Aviva – £1.1bn in individual protection claims helped more than 53,700 customers and families in 2021

Aviva – Claims uncovered – facts, figures and inside stories

Finder.com – Life insurance statistics

Statista – Life insurance industry in the UK: Statistics & Facts

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