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Claims Report reveals the value of protection insurance to customers

This week Aviva is set to share its 2019 Individual Protection Claims Report with advisers, partners and their clients. The report, which has been running for four years, provides an insight into some of the customer stories and claims innovations that lie beyond the ‘numbers’ within the insurer’s protection claims operation.  

Central to the report are the testimonies of customers who made a claim on their protection policies, whose personal stories can help advisers demonstrate the value of protection during their client conversations.  

Whilst the report reveals claims data, insight and stories for all the core protection products, there is a greater focus this year on children’s critical illness benefit. Dale and Beth’s devastating story about their new-born son is told through their adviser and new mother Jenni shares her story about her daughter’s diagnosis at just eight weeks old.

In 2019, Aviva paid out £5 million on children’s critical illness benefit, to 263 parents. More than 48% of the claims were for cancer, in particular for blood cancer.

The report also details some new initiatives that Aviva has introduced into its protection claims service, including a new proposition known as ‘Project Teddy’ and a fast-track cancer claims process.

Project Teddy

Project Teddy was launched in 2019 for critical illness customers claiming children’s benefit, with the simple aim of going the extra mile. Recognising that a child’s illness or injury affects the whole family and is unimaginably difficult for parents, the protection claims team have a unique opportunity to make a difference beyond just dealing with a customer’s claim.

Aviva’s Claims Assessors take time to get to know each family and personally choose the best gift to send to each family member. It might be a restaurant voucher to help mum and dad take a well-deserved break, a specialist sensory gift for a poorly child, a cuddly toy for a sibling needing an extra hug, or arts and crafts to keep minds distracted.

The project is proving immensely rewarding for the team and has generated an overwhelming response from parents. The following comment from one mother is indicative of the many letters that Aviva’s Claims Assessors receive: 

The added extra thought of providing a gift to Madeleine’s sibling was outstanding and extremely well thought through. This has been a really tough time for us all. The service you have all provided, particularly Jess has been outstanding, thank you.

The claims team has also implemented a fast-track children’s cancer claim process where possible, with no paperwork or medical report needed, just a simple call with their specialist cancer nurse. In the very worst of circumstances, the team always aims to complete all child death claims on the same day, so parents do not have to provide information more than once at the most painful of times.

Making claims quicker and easier

  • Two-thirds (66%) of all the critical illness claims that Aviva received in 2019 were for cancer and we have applied our fast track claims service for cancer across all our critical illness policies. Cancer nurse specialists verify the diagnosis over the phone and we have been able to cut claim times for cancer from an average of 60 days to just 25 hours for some customers.
  • Our life insurance claims are also increasingly paperless. By processing some claims over the phone, we have been able to reduce the average time it takes to settle a claim from around 27 days when paper-based, to just two or three days.
  • We offer advance payments to cover funeral costs or probate fees and can provide up to £11,000 for eligible life insurance claimants. And by offering to deal directly with the funeral director and to handle probate fees we hope to take away some of the stress at a difficult time. 

Jacqueline Kerwood, Claims Philosophy Manager at Aviva, said: 

“We’re proud that we paid out £982m in claims last year, but it’s not just about the money for us. Some of our biggest achievements have been in the care we’ve been able to provide, from a simplified life insurance claim process that requires only one phone call to notify us of a death, to fast-tracking cancer claims thanks to our strong relationship with cancer nurse specialists who can verify the medical diagnosis on the phone.

“Project Teddy is about doing the little things that make a big difference when they’re most needed by families. As a parent I understand that feeling of helplessness when a child is ill, and I wanted our claims journey to do more to support families going through an illness or loss of a child. Our claims assessors take care to handle all calls with sympathy and consideration and I am so proud that our feedback shows we have been able to achieve this.

“We know across the industry that a key route to overcoming the protection gap is inspiring confidence in protection insurance and trust in the industry.  We hope that bringing our claims philosophy and claims numbers to life in this report, with powerful customer stories and insights into our claims innovations, will help our advisers and partners to overcome barriers when demonstrating the importance and value of protection.” 

Aviva first published its claims paid rates for Individual Protection policies during 2019 last month.

The Aviva Individual Protection Claims Report is available for download. 


Melissa Loughran

Senior Media Relations Manager, Aviva UK Insurance

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/ 
  • Aviva is a leading international savings, retirement and insurance business. We exist to be with people when it really matters, throughout their lives – to help them make the most of life. 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’.
  • Our vision is to earn our customers’ trust as the best place to save for the future, navigate retirement and insure what matters most to them. In 2019, we paid £33.2 billion in claims and benefits on behalf of our 33.4 million customers.
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