Two thirds of people1 believe insurers are not fair. That insurers avoid paying out or hide behind bureaucracy to make it difficult for customers to get their money.
We cannot avoid that this is how some customers feel and we want to change this. That is why for the second year running we have published the data on all of the claims we received.
As an insurer it seems obvious to say that paying claims is what we do but the fact is, we exist to pay claims. In 2018 we paid over 8.3 million claims across the Aviva group - that is one every four seconds. This was in 14 countries, across life, critical illness, car, home, travel and health insurance and represented 98% of all claims received2, the same percentage we paid out in 2017.
The whole point of insurance is to pay out when our customers need us. It’s a fundamental part of our business. We’re determined to make claiming as easy, quick and painless as possible.
We believe it’s important to be transparent about our claims, so our customers have the confidence and reassurance that we're here when they need us. View the infographic below or read on more to find out more about our claims story and what we're doing to make it easier to claim:
Our claims story
In 2018 we paid 98% of our claims. This number reflects the total claims paid vs all claims received across the 14 markets we operate in, for all our insurance product lines2 (if a customer chose to abandon or withdraw their claim it was not counted).
Here are some examples of how many times we supported our customers when they needed us last year. The data shows that across Aviva we paid:
Enough cars to go once
around the world
One claim paid every
One claim paid every
Helping families in 13 countries cope during the hardest time
Income protection claims
For customers who could no longer work
Improving our claims processes
- Making it easier for customers to check or switch their level of cover with AvivaPlus.
- Helping customers manage claims on the move through our MyAviva app.
- Speeding up home claims with video chat.
We are not simply sharing our claims data to show how many claims we pay, we are also working to improve the way we pay claims. It is important that claiming - a time when customers need our help - is as easy as possible. Here are some examples of what we are we doing to help:
Giving customers control
In December 2018 we launched an industry-first, subscription-style, insurance product in the UK. AvivaPlus is designed to address consumer concerns with the industry and give customers more control. It offers simple, flexible insurance cover with no charges for cancelling or changing a policy and a renewal price guarantee for home and car insurance. The guarantee ensures existing customers are offered the same or an even better price than an equivalent new customer at their next renewal.
Simplifying the process
We're committed to making insurance easier for our customers, including simplifying the language and content of our policy documents to make what’s covered clearer to customers. Through our digital business, we’ve cut the number of unnecessary questions we ask when customers get a quote. This helps to avoid confusion and uncertainty about whether a claim will be paid.
In Hong Kong, our life insurance joint venture Blue only offers digital products explained in simple terms and allows customers to select, and pay for, only those risks they want to be covered for.
In Canada, we launched the first automatic First Notice of Loss (FNOL) service at all Collision Reporting Centres (visited by up to 70% of customers before they contact their insurer). This means customers can report their collisions automatically and create a claim on the spot. They are also kept up to date via SMS and email on their claim number, told how to contact their claims adjuster and the status of their claim as it progresses.
We have a partnership with Amazon to offer our UK customers a gift voucher they can spend right away to replace lost or damaged goods.
Looking at what we cover
In Poland, we've improved coverage of cancer treatment and in Singapore we've also extended our critical illness coverage to include re-diagnosis of an illness that has been claimed for in the past, so customers can be reassured they’re still protected should their illness strike again.
Investing in technology
Our UK customers can now make a vehicle repair claim using the MyAviva app and choose the repairer, location and time that works best for them, while tracking the entire repair online. Over 60% of customers now choose to manage their repair claim this way.
Customers who have our Aviva Drive app can access Aviva's dashcam technology for free. This means that footage taken by the app can be used as evidence when claiming, helping to speed up the claims process.
In Poland, we're working to speed up travel claims by automatically processing travel insurance claims if a customer’s flight is delayed or cancelled and we have their flight number recorded.
As important as what we pay, is how we deal with people at a difficult time. Claiming needs to be easy.
Focus on prevention
We're using data and predictive modelling so we can be better prepared for natural catastrophes. In 2018 Canada had one of its worst storm seasons on record, with three windstorms in April alone and more catastrophes since, including the tornadoes that devastated the Ottawa-Gatineau area. Our use of data has made sure that our response improved with each event, and we had teams of adjusters on the ground helping customers from the morning after the tornadoes hit.
In Ireland we released SmartHome insurance, which provides a monitored alarm system, heating controls, a smart smoke alarm and two smart plugs that allow customers to control and monitor safety in their homes using a smartphone or tablet. Better still their premiums will reflect the steps they've taken to prevent any damages.
In the UK, we offer our customers a discount for driving safely. Customers who use our free dashcam functionality in the Aviva Drive app and are shown to be driving safely can save up to £170 on the annual cost of their insurance.
Why are some claims rejected?
We only reject a small number of claims mainly due to missing documents, non-disclosure and fraud.
Some claims are also rejected because the customer didn't have the right level of cover they thought. We want to change this.
While we are proud to pay as many claims as we do, we’re not complacent about it. We reject a small number of claims, just 2%. While we're working to reduce this, there are some things that can help customers make sure that - if they need to claim - their claim will be paid. See below the reasons most claims are rejected.
A small number of customers see their claims rejected
Claims paid out to customers
Claims rejected - most commonly because the risk is not covered, non-disclosure, evidence missing or fraud
Risk not covered
The most common reason that we reject a claim is a mismatch between what customers believe their policy covers and what policies actually cover. While we're working to make the language of our policies clearer and simpler, we also encourage customers to understand what a new policy includes when they take it out, so there are no surprises. Customers can also call us any time to check on their coverage and in some markets can check or switch their level of cover using the MyAviva app.
We reject a small proportion of claims because of a pre-existing condition that the customer did not disclose when taking out the policy. While in most cases this is a genuine oversight, we need to make sure we keep a disciplined approach to our claims process. This means we cannot accept claims for risks we didn’t know about.
Sometimes we can't accept claims because we can’t verify them. We're taking action to simplify and speed up the process to make a claim, but there is still a need for customers to submit documentation to demonstrate the validity of their claim. Whether it’s evidence of an accident or a copy of an invoice they want to get reimbursed, we can't pay if we don’t receive the relevant documents.
We have zero tolerance for fraud. By detecting and avoiding paying fraudulent claims, we help to keep premiums low for genuine customers.
Our claims story across our markets
In the UK, we paid out 96% of all claims received in 2018. That was £3.8 billion across motor, home, travel, protection, health and commercial business insurance. Read our UK claims press release.
In France we paid 98% of all claims received. Most of these relate to life and health insurance. We offer health insurance products in France that complement the public health services, helping customers get the right treatment without worrying about whether it’s covered by the national health system.
We paid 99% of car insurance claims and 98% of home insurance claims and we're using more and more digital routes to improve the experience for customers, including halving the time for some car repairs through quicker sourcing of parts and delivering SMS updates on the progress of repairs.
We also send our customers weather forecast alerts when driving conditions are bad and use data effectively to improve the process of getting a new policy for customers and brokers alike.
In total, we paid over €913 million (over £824 million) to our French customers.
We offer a multi-line range of products in Poland. In 2018, we paid 89% of our total life claims and 94% of our general insurance claims. The overall claims payout ratio for Poland is 90%.
We are constantly working to improve our claims through innovations and changes including making our critical illness coverage more comprehensive. We are making the claims process much quicker – for example, claims made over the phone are paid on the same day and some of our death benefits are paid the following work day. Customers making selected motor and household claims can use an app to share photos and documents, this is then followed by automatic calculation of payment which the customer can accept through the app. There is a similar system available using SMS.
In 2018 we paid 99% of all claims received. We offer general insurance in Canada, so these claims include home and motor insurance. We paid out over $2.7 billion Canadian dollars to our customers.
Motor-related claims continue to drive high volumes, and so we’re focused on ways to improve the claims experience for customers following an accident. Earlier this year we launched Canada’s first automatic First Notice of Loss service at Collison Reporting Centres. This digital solution allows for claims to be resolved more quickly and efficiently.
We're also using data and predictive modelling so we can be better prepared and have our teams ready when they are needed. 2018 saw some of Canada’s worst storm seasons historically, with three windstorms in April and more catastrophes later in the year, including the tornadoes that devastated the Ottawa-Gatineau area.
Our use of data has made sure that our response improved with each event, and we had teams of adjusters on the ground helping customers from the morning after the tornadoes hit. We know it is not just about being on the ground. We’re also making better use of data using predictive modelling so we can be better prepared and make sure staff are ready when they are needed.
We paid 90% of all claims received in Italy. Most of these relate to car and home insurance. We're working on improving and speeding up the process for claims on home insurance for our customers by connecting them directly with loss adjusters via video streaming. In 2018 we extended this to our motor claims service too. We're incorporating data analytics to reduce the documentation required and speed up payment for most of our motor and home claims.
We paid 98% of all claims received in Ireland across car, home and life insurance. We paid over €250 million in claims to our customers in Ireland in 2018.
We place a strong focus on prevention. Demonstrated by our release of SmartHome insurance, a new policy which provides a monitored alarm system, heating controls, a smart smoke alarm and two smart plugs that allow customers to control things such as the lights throughout their homes. By using a smartphone or tablet, customers can control and monitor safety in their homes, and their premiums will reflect the steps they've taken to prevent any damages.
We paid 97% of all the claims we received in 2018. 93% of all our general insurance claims, 97% of our health claims and 90% of life insurance claims.
We're moving away from the traditional “claim once” plans to give customers greater peace of mind and remove any uncertainty around cover in case of any future re-occurrence. We’ve designed our critical illness plan to cover customers and allow multiple claims. This includes re-diagnosis, so even if the illness strikes again, the customer can be assured that their cover is still intact.
We’re also using digital technology to simplify the claims process for our customers – including a completely paperless claims process and a clinic e-card payment system by which we settle payment directly with hospitals, so customers don’t have to pay the costs themselves.
We have set a new benchmark in the Indian life insurance industry with the ‘30-Minute Claim Decision’ service. We have taken this innovative step to enhance our customer experience in death claims processing.
‘The 30 Minute Claim Decision’ process is focused on ensuring that the death claim request at the branch is processed immediately and the customer’s family can get the documents verified at the branch itself. If the policy is eligible, the claim settlement letter can be handed over within 30 minutes, avoiding unnecessary back and forth at a difficult time.
1 According to Aviva's Consumer Attitudes Survey, March 2018.
2 The percentage was calculated by dividing all paid and rejected claims by the total number of claims received between 1 January and 31 December 2017. The figure includes all insurance product lines across all our businesses and excludes benefits and pensions, which have a payout ratio of 100%. It also excludes invalid or incomplete claims, such as instances where claims were opened in error, abandoned or withdrawn by customers.
Notes to editors:
- For information on how Aviva is helping our people, customers and communities impacted by COVID-19 visit: www.aviva.com/covid-19-our-response/
- We exist to be with people when it really matters, throughout their lives. We have been taking care of people for more than 320 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2020, we paid £30.6 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
- Aviva is invested in our people, our customers, our communities and our planet. In 2021, we announced our plan to become a Net Zero carbon emissions company by 2040, the most demanding target of any major insurance company in the world. 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. Aviva has been leading this agenda for decades: Aviva was the first international insurer to go operationally carbon neutral in 2006 and we are champions of renewable energy and energy storage at our offices, allowing us to achieve our 2030 carbon reduction target (70% reduction on 2010 levels) 10 years early. Find out more about our climate goals at www.aviva.com/climate-goals and our sustainability ambition at www.aviva.com/sustainability.
- 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 www.aviva.com/social-purpose
- We are focused on the UK, Ireland and Canada where we have leading market positions and significant potential. We will invest for growth in these markets. We will also transform our performance and improve our efficiency. Our transformation will be underpinned by managing our balance sheet prudently, reducing debt and increasing our financial resilience. We also have strategic investments in Singapore, China and India.
- Total group assets under management at Aviva group as at 31 December 2020 are £535 billion and our Solvency II shareholder capital surplus is £12.5 billion as at 31 March 2021. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
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