People face uncertainty, challenges and choices every day. Life is complex and unpredictable. It's all too easy to be a bit afraid, a little uncertain.
At Aviva, our purpose is to free people from fear of uncertainty, allowing them to get on and lead their lives; so that they can look forward to the future with confidence, knowing that they have protected what matters most to them.
We are here to make a difference to our customers at their times of need and to make it easier for them to plan for the future. And we have been doing this for the last 320 years.
Our purpose is all about what we do for our customers and ensuring that we build a strong business on which they can depend.
By delivering on our purpose we will make Aviva stronger for our customers, our shareholders, our communities and our people.
Insurance can make a real difference to people's lives. Linda Hunns has had critical illness cover with Aviva since 2002. This is her story.
"I was doing fine. I enjoyed life to the full as a mother and grandmother. I loved going for walks and prided myself on keeping fit, as well as enjoying my part-time job at the local hospital.
Then came the bombshell. A routine mammogram showed I had breast cancer. Luckily we'd caught it early and the cancer was very small, but I still had a gruelling time with surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Everything else had to take a back seat. Once I'd started treatment I remembered that I had critical illness cover with Aviva and might be able to make a claim.
I spoke to a young girl with a lovely manner. She told me that I would receive the money once the hospital had confirmed the type of cancer. It was that simple. Aviva even sorted out all the confirmations for me.
The service I received from Aviva was excellent. I can't tell you how much this money meant to me. It meant one less thing to worry about and so it hugely helped in my recovery.
I went back to work in February and things are getting back to normal. In fact, I turned 60 this year and celebrated by taking the whole family away for a week in the sun."
It must be one of the worst moments imaginable: a diagnosis of terminal cancer.
That was the devastating news given to one of our customers in Singapore, Mr Yeo Chong Kheng and his family.
But because Mr Yeo had a life insurance policy with us we could help and reassure him and his family at an awful time.
We made a payment to Mr Yeo when he received his diagnosis. This meant he could spend his last weeks more comfortably and put his affairs in order, knowing that his wife and son would be taken care of after he had gone.
In particular, he now knew that his son would still be able to study overseas.
Nothing can bring Mr Yeo back. But we know that what we could do meant a great deal to him and his family.
Mr Yeo's wife, Mdm Chin Yoke Yoon, recalls how the family coped with the news: "Dealing with my husband's sudden illness was such a difficult time for the whole family, so not having to worry about our finances, on top of everything else, was a relief. This experience has made me realise just how beneficial insurance can be, so I'm now an advocate and I want to help others understand the importance of planning for the future."
We believe it is our privilege to support our customers at such difficult times.
Our Aviva Investors Multi-Strategy (AIMS) range of funds is all about helping our customers to achieve the investment outcomes they are looking for, no matter how unpredictable the markets are. Each fund contains a variety of investment strategies which are designed to perform well in different circumstances because no-one can predict the future and we know that market conditions can change. The intention is to make sure each fund performs well in lots of different market environments.
The two funds we've launched to date – AIMS Target Return and AIMS Target Income – aim to deliver steady capital growth and generate a reliable income stream respectively. They are managed by an experienced team headed by Peter Fitzgerald (left), Head of Multi-Assets, and Dan James (right), Global Head of Rates.
Peter and Dan have combined investment experience of 39 years and have specialised in multi-asset and target-return investing throughout their careers. The whole process is overseen by Euan Munro, a pioneer of multi-strategy investing, who acts as strategic adviser to the fund and chairs the Strategic Investment Group, a Company-wide forum that provides the fund's managers with investment ideas.
The British are famous for taking their tea very seriously – so much so that England is home to an exhibition of no fewer than 6,700 teapots. It's called Teapot Island and Keith and Sue Blazye, its owners, are one of our customers.
As Sue Blazye explains: "We woke up on Christmas morning and came downstairs to find our exhibition under three feet of water because a local river had flooded. It was horrendous." Mr and Mrs Blazye wanted to get the exhibition up and running in time for the start of the tourist season and they didn’t want to disappoint their customers.
Mr and Mrs Blazye and our case manager, Helen Anderson, worked closely with the loss adjuster to work out what the Blazyes wanted and how it could be delivered.
Opening in time wouldn't have been possible using standard drying and repair techniques. So our drying consultants found a way to get the repairs done in time. We use these new approaches more often now.
Thanks to Mr and Mrs Blazye's commitment, the partnership between our claims manager and the loss adjuster, and the innovative approach to getting the drying and repairs done, Teapot Island opened its doors to visitors in time for the start of the tourist season.
Helen Anderson said: "I've worked for Aviva for 13 years and this was one of the most unusual and complex claims I've worked on – but also one of the most gratifying. Delivering for our customers in this way is the best bit of my job."
The Social Entrepreneurship sector in France is booming. But these businesses often struggle to find the funding to support their continued development.
Aviva Impact Investing France, run by Aviva France and Le Comptoir de L'Innovation, makes pioneering investments over five to seven years to support French social enterprises in their take-off and growth phases.
In December 2014 they made their first investment in a recycling factory in Lille called Le Relais (shown right). It's the leader in France in the collection, sorting and recovery of second-hand clothing and textiles and has, since 1984, created 2,700 jobs.
Aviva's investment is in partnership with Minot Recyclage Textile (MRT). Clothes which can't be re-used get a new life as non-woven felts, geotextiles, cleaning cloths or as thermal or acoustic insulation material.