Our heritage

We can trace our heritage back to 1696. Our business began in an age of highwaymen, but is as relevant to customers today as it was then.

The Aviva Group Archive is the most important insurance industry archive in the United Kingdom.

It documents our 325+ years of history.

We hold records for the many hundreds of companies that have contributed to our heritage.

Learn more about the Archive


“Somebody claimed for a pickled egg that went missing”

Anna Stone, Group Archivist, on keeping people honest by preserving Aviva’s 325-year-old archive. Others have described it as the most important insurance archive in the UK, but for Anna, it’s ‘like a third child’.

Read Anna's story

Legacy companies

For over three hundred years our ancestor companies have adapted to meet customers’ needs, just as we strive to do today.

Explore the A-Z of our most historically significant constituent companies.

Meet the ancestors

Did you know?

Our ancestors include the oldest mutual life insurer, one of the oldest fire insurers, the first company to issue a burglary policy, and the first and only insurance company to hold a royal warrant.

Trace the fascinating and complex history of Aviva with our timeline.

More from the Archive...


Visual treats from our 325+ years of history.


Hidden gems from our photograph collection on the map.


Unearth some fascinating stories from our past.

The National Archives

Explore our catalogue.