Aviva life insurance review

13 min Read Published: 03 Jun 2020

aviva life insurance review

If you are looking to buy life insurance, it’s important to compare policies carefully. In this independent review, we take an in-depth look at Aviva life insurance, including the types of cover available and typical costs, as well as any additional benefits. 

Who is Aviva?

Aviva’s earliest constituent, the Hand in Hand, was founded in London in 1696. The company was established as a mutual society and was once the world’s oldest existing fire insurance office. In 1706 the company’s life insurance business, the Amicable Society, was set up. This was acquired by the Norwich Union Life Insurance Society in 1866, while Commercial Union acquired the Hand in Hand Fire and Life Insurance Society in 1905. 

In 1998 Commercial Union and General Accident merged to create CGU plc. Two years later, CGU and Norwich Union merged to become CGNU plc. On 1 July 2002, CGNU changed its name to Aviva plc, whilst retaining brands such as Norwich Union (UK), Delta Lloyd (Netherlands) and Morley Fund Management. 

Norwich Union was rebranded as Aviva in 2009 and a year later, Aviva was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The company acquired life and pensions firm Friends Life in 2015.

Aviva won the ‘Best of the Best Insurer’ award at the British Insurance Awards in 2019. The company also has a five-star rating from Defaqto for its life insurance products. 

Aviva Overview

The bullet points below provide an overview of Aviva’s life insurance policy.

  • Policy types: Choose from level term, decreasing term, increasing term, whole of life cover, over 50s cover, or family income benefit, as well as joint or single policies. Terminal Illness Cover is automatically included and Critical Illness cover can be added to a life insurance policy for an additional cost. 
  • Claims record: 2018 - Life insurance 98.9%, critical illness 92.6%, 2017 - Life insurance 98.9%, critical illness 93.2%, 2016 - Life insurance 98.9%, critical illness 92.3%.
  • Additional benefits: Free life cover for up to 90 days if you are buying a property. Children’s critical illness cover is automatically included if you take out your own critical illness policy.
  • Up to £100 cashback: If you apply for a policy through LifeSearch* (simply click on the link and complete the short form), you will receive up to £100 cashback. We explain more below.

Aviva Policy Summary

The table below outlines the key facts and features for Aviva’s life insurance policy:

Type of cover Life Insurance
Options Level term, decreasing term, increasing term, whole of life, over 50s cover, or family income benefit.
Policy Coverage Single or joint life first event (pays out on first death).
Terminal Illness Cover included? Terminal Illness Cover is automatically included and will pay out if you are diagnosed with an illness and life expectancy is less than 12 months.
Can cover increase over time (indexation)? If you add index-linked increasing cover, the amount of cover will increase each year in line with the Retail Prices Index (RPI), up to a maximum of 10%. Your premiums will also go up at 1.5 times the rate of the RPI increase.
Waiver of Premium Available as an add-on, this means you won’t have to pay your premiums if you cannot work due to an accident or injury.
Minimum age at entry 18
Maximum age at entry 89
Policy Exclusions Suicide in the first 12 months is not covered. Terminal Illness Cover will not pay out if the illness diagnosis does not meet the definition set out in the policy terms, or you’re diagnosed with an illness and are expected to live longer than 12 months.

 

The table below outlines the key facts and features for Aviva’s critical illness policy:

Type of cover Critical Illness
Can it be combined with life cover? Critical illness cover can be added to a life insurance policy for an additional cost.
Premium type Guaranteed or Reviewable.
Number of critical illnesses covered 53
Children’s critical illness cover included Automatically included for children from the age of 30 days up to their 18th birthday, or 21st birthday if in full-time education. Amount payable is 50% of the sum assured, up to a maximum of £25,000.
Minimum age at entry 18
Maximum age at entry 64
Policy exclusions No payout will be given if you are diagnosed with a critical illness that does not meet the policy terms or if you die within 10 days of being diagnosed.


Additional free benefits provided by Aviva

  • Life insurance includes Terminal Illness Cover which will pay out if you are diagnosed with an illness that is likely to cause death within 12 months. 
  • Up to 90 days’ free life insurance if you take out a policy to coincide with a house purchase. Cover starts when your application has been accepted and contracts have been exchanged. 
  • If you separate from a partner, separation benefit allows you to split a joint policy into two single policies without having to answer any extra medical questions.
  • Accelerated surgery benefit is included with life and critical illness cover and pays out in advance if you are put on an NHS waiting list for one of six eligible surgeries. 
  • Children’s critical illness cover is automatically included if you take out your own policy. The amount payable is 50% of the cover amount, up to a maximum of £25,000. Children’s hospital benefit is also included, and you’ll receive £5,000 if the child dies.

Optional benefits provided by Aviva

  • Waiver of Premium is available for an additional cost. This means you won’t have to pay your premiums if you are unable to work due to an accident or injury. You can choose a deferred period of one, three or six months. 
  • Conversion option allows you to convert your level term policy to a whole of life policy without answering any additional medical questions. 
  • Fracture cover pays up to £6,000 if you suffer from one of 18 specified fractures. 
  • Option to add global treatment cover which provides access to second medical opinions and overseas medical treatment.
  • Extra Care cover can be added to life and critical illness cover. This provides an additional £50,000 if you are diagnosed with a condition that results in severe and permanent symptoms. 
  • Total permanent disability cover can be added to life and critical illness cover for an additional cost. 
  • You can also upgrade your critical illness policy or your children’s critical illness policy to cover a wider range of conditions. 

How much does Aviva insurance cost?

To give you an idea of how much you could pay each month with an Aviva life insurance policy, the tables below show premiums for £250,000 of level term life insurance over a 20-year term.

We’ve looked at costs for both a non-smoker and a smoker in various age groups and compared premiums to the cheapest and most expensive in the market. 

Aviva life insurance comparison - £250,000 over 20 years (Non-Smoker)

Aviva premium Cheapest premium Most expensive premium
25-year-old non-smoker £8.67 £6.03 £9.61
35-year-old non-smoker £14.05 £11.19 £14.31
45-year-old non-smoker £30.35 £22.47 £30.35
55-year-old non-smoker £84.26 £61.83 £84.26


Aviva life insurance comparison - £250,000 over 20 years (Smoker)

Aviva premium Cheapest premium Most expensive premium
25-year-old smoker £13.06 £9.52 £13.84
35-year-old smoker £25.32 £20.23 £28.34
45-year-old smoker £67.64 £53.05 £74.83
55-year-old smoker £201.80 £154.41 £201.80


It’s important to use the above figures as a guideline only. How much you, as an individual, pay for life insurance will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Your age
  • Whether you smoke
  • Your health
  • Your occupation
  • How much cover you choose
  • The term of your policy.

It’s a good idea to speak to an independent insurance specialist before taking out a policy to ensure you find the right cover at the best price. Below we explain how you can also qualify for up to £100 cashback if you decide to take out a life insurance policy.

Best way to buy Aviva life insurance?

If you’re looking to buy a life insurance policy with Aviva, it’s worth first speaking to an independent insurance specialist such as LifeSearch*. They can access quotes from all major insurance companies to ensure you are getting the best deal, and match you with the insurance provider who will view your application more favourably.

Independent insurance specialists can advise you on the amount and type of cover you need, and help you to complete your application forms. They can also provide support should you want to put your policy into trust or make a claim in the future. Simply fill in this short form* to get a quote. There is no obligation to take things further, but if you choose to take out an insurance policy you will qualify for up to £100 cashback. 

Aviva life insurance summary

  • Established in 2000, but the company can trace its history back to 1696.
  • In 2018, Aviva paid out 98.9% of life insurance claims and 92.6% of critical illness claims. 
  • Life insurance automatically includes Terminal Illness Cover, while Critical Illness cover can be added for an additional cost. 
  • House purchase cover is included which provides free life cover from when your application is accepted for up to 90 days. 
  • Separation benefit allows you to split a joint policy into single policies if you separate from a partner.
  • If you take out critical illness cover, children’s critical illness cover is automatically included. Accelerated surgery cover is also included which will pay out early if you are put on an NHS waiting list.
  • Aviva life insurance may not be the cheapest option for you as the amount you pay will depend on a number of different factors. It therefore pays to shop around and compare policies carefully to ensure you get the right cover at the right price. 
  • If you buy life insurance through LifeSearch*, you will receive up to £100 cashback. Click on the link and complete the short form to be called back at a time that suits you. 

 

If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses and do not wish to qualify for the cashback referred to in the article - LifeSearch 

Looking for a financial adviser near you?

Do you need financial advice? An independent financial adviser can show you how to make the most
of your money. Find your nearest qualified and regulated adviser using this VouchedFor search tool.

Alternatively, Hargreaves Lansdown, one of the UK’s largest firms providing restricted financial advice, is offering a £200 John Lewis voucher* to new clients.