Challenging a misconception that insurers don't pay out

Aviva’s first UK claims report shows 96% of all claims were accepted in 2017.

Key Aviva UK claims facts

  • Aviva paid out more than £3.6 billion in UK claims in 2017– the equivalent of more than £10 million every day, or £7, 000 every minute
  • 96% of claims were accepted across Aviva’s individual and commercial insurance lines
  • Around 120,000 vehicles are typically repaired each year for customers – almost enough to fill every lane of the M25 motorway
  • The UK’s largest insurer is committed to continuing to simplify products and clarify insurance for customers.

Aviva is urging UK insurers to help debunk the myth that insurance does not pay and to do more to explain how insurance claims work.

Consumers believe insurers try to avoid paying claims

Common misconceptions that insurance does not pay should be challenged says Aviva, which has published its first UK-wide claims report covering aspects of its individual and commercial insurance business.

The consumer research commissioned by Aviva shows that 55% of consumers believe insurers will always try to avoid paying claims if they can with the average payment considered to be just 52% of all claims.1

The report shows that in 2017 Aviva accepted 96% of insurance claims made by individual and business customers in the UK, paying out more than £3.6 billion in cash settlements and services – equivalent to more than £10 million every single day, or £7, 000 every minute.2

The reality is that every year about 120, 000 vehicles are repaired through Aviva car insurance – almost enough to fill every lane on the M25 motorway – and enough carpet is replaced through home insurance claims to cover 11 football pitches.

Every year we replace enough carpet to cover 11 football pitches

Nearly one million Aviva customer claims (961, 973 or 96% of claims made) were accepted last year across motor , home, travel, protection, health and commercial business insurance.

Aviva’s report also explains the common reasons why 4% of all the claims it received could not be paid, and includes helpful case studies from customers as well as frontline employees, illustrating how its claims approach is about more than just providing financial support.

The impact that the insurer’s investment in digital tools is having on making the claims process simpler and faster is also evidenced.


Aviva UK claims reported digitally by end of 2017

The UK’s largest insurer says there is more that the market as a whole can do to simplify and improve customers’ experience of making an insurance claim, particularly when they often do so at the most challenging times in their lives.

At the same time, consumers must take more responsibility for their insurance, such as:

  • being clear on their policy terms before they purchase, and 
  • working closely with their insurer to provide full information about their circumstances, as needed.

Andy Briggs, Chief Executive Officer, Aviva UK Insurance, said:

“Misconceptions that insurance does not pay out when it is needed or that it is unnecessary are leaving UK families and businesses potentially exposed through a lack of suitable insurance. If people have a sense that insurance is not going to pay out, they won’t bother buying it.

We are calling on the industry to join us in comprehensively publishing information about how insurers manage customer claims, why some claims are declined and how consumers can do more themselves to understand whether the cover they have is what they need.

“Across the industry we know that insurance is a reliable and critical way of providing financial protection when things go wrong, whether it involves a family member, a personal possession or a business. In the vast majority of cases, insurance claims are accepted and there are additional and very important support services that help customers get back on their feet.

“When it comes to making a claim we want Aviva customers to feel really clear about what they are covered for, so we are actively looking at ways that we can help them understand their cover in a simple and unequivocal way. This is something that we believe the whole industry needs to commit to on behalf of customers.” 

UK claims paid by Aviva in 2017

Aviva claims paid in 2017

Number of claims settled

Claims settled (%)

Claims value

Motor insurance (not including third party)3
Home insurance
Travel insurance






Commercial motor
Commercial property




Life insurance




Critical illness




Income protection4




Fracture cover




Private medical insurance




Group protection5








Source: Aviva UK claims report 2017 

Common reasons for a claim being declined

Just 4% of UK claims across individual and commercial business insurance were declined last year by Aviva. Common reasons include:

  • Lack of additional cover to the standard policy – eg if a customer didn’t choose additional cover as part of a home insurance policy for events such as accidental damage or cover for damage to belongings outside of the home
  • Making a claim for something that falls outside of the policy terms – eg the effects of gradual wear and tear or damp and dry rot are not covered by a standard home insurance policy
  • The policy definition for a claim is not met – eg some critical illness claims were declined because the condition the customer was claiming for was not covered by their policy
  • A pre-existing health condition/lifestyle choice was not declared – eg pre-existing health conditions or lifestyle choices that are not declared by the customer during the application process can lead to group and individual protection claims being declined

Source: Aviva UK claims report 2017 

Friends taking a selfie
Our priority is to be there for customers when they need us

Read the full Aviva UK claims report


Media enquiries:

Melissa Loughran, Aviva UK Insurance Media Relations:
07800 691947

Instinctif Partners:
020 7457 2020


1 Research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Aviva between 1–4 June 2018 June 2018, surveying  a nationally representative sample 2,003 UK adults.

2 2017 Figures compiled as part of the Aviva UK claims report  - download the report.

3 Settled motor claims include all claims made by or against our customer, including own damage, third party damage, and third party injury claims. These figures do not include third party only claims, where no claim is made by our customer.

4 Aviva claims paid rates for income protection have been calculated using the new ABI methodology introduced in May 2017 for new claims accepted.

5 Group protection claims paid rates are stated using the GRiD methodology.

Notes to editors:

  • We are one of the UK’s leading Insurance, Wealth & Retirement businesses and we operate in the UK, Ireland and Canada. We also have international investments in India, China and Singapore.
  • We help our 18.7 million customers make the most out of life, plan for the future, and have the confidence that if things go wrong we’ll be there to put it right.
  • We have been taking care of people for more than 325 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2022, we paid £23.2 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
  • Aviva is a market leader in sustainability. In 2021, we announced our plan to become Net Zero by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means Net Zero carbon emissions from our investments by 2040; setting out a clear pathway to get there with a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and Net Zero carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030. Find out more about our climate goals at and our sustainability ambition and action at
  • While we are working towards our sustainability ambitions, we acknowledge that we have relationships with businesses and existing assets that may be associated with significant emissions. More information can be found at
  • Aviva is a Living Wage and Living Hours employer and provides market-leading benefits for our people, including flexible working, paid carers leave and equal parental leave. Find out more at
  • As at 31 December 2022, total Group assets under management at Aviva Group were £352 billion and our estimated Solvency II shareholder capital surplus as at 31 March 2023 was £7.7 billion. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
  • For more details on what we do, our business and how we help our customers, visit
  • The Aviva newsroom at includes links to our spokespeople images, podcasts, research reports and our news release archive. Sign up to get the latest news from Aviva by email.
  • You can follow us on:
  • For the latest corporate films from around our business, subscribe to our YouTube channel:

      Read more of our research