Aviva pays more than £1bn in individual protection claims for the third consecutive year

Mum and daughter reading
  • 98.3% of all individual protection claims were paid last year
  • More than £5.1 billion paid out across 200,000 claims over the last 5 years
  • 82% of income protection customers receiving early intervention support returned to their usual role and working hours

Aviva paid more than 50,000 individual protection claims last year to help customers and their families in their time of need, with more than £1,071,000,000 paid out across life insurance, critical illness, income protection and other individual protection policies.

The release of Aviva’s individual protection claims experience for 2022 shows a third consecutive year that claims payments have exceeded £1 billion, equivalent to more than £2.9m being paid out every single day. 

The claims paid rate of 98.3% across all individual protection policies is the highest reported by Aviva since 20151, with a total of 50,595 claims paid to support customers and their families.

The year also saw Aviva’s protection claims team send out around 650 gifts to lift the spirits of customers going through a claim, with around 440 sent to children and their families as part of ‘Project Teddy’ initiative for children’s critical illness claims.

Jacqueline Kerwood, Claims Philosophy Manager at Aviva, said:“The scale of the payments we consistently make to individual protection customers year-on-year evidences the crucial financial support that our protection insurance provides for tens of thousands of UK households, especially during times of broader cost of living challenges. Over the last five years we have paid over £5.1billion across more than 200,000 individual protection claims, supporting UK families during the most difficult times.

“Whilst we have a consistent track record for paying out claims, we are equally focused on going above and beyond our customers’ expectations of their policies and their cover. More and more customers are registering with and using our Digicare+ wellbeing services app, while our relentless focus on putting customers and their families at the heart of a first class claims service has led to outstanding customer satisfaction scores.

“We will be sharing Aviva’s Individual Protection Claims Report and hosting adviser webinar events in May, which will provide compelling evidence for advisers to share with customers when discussing the importance of having and keeping protection insurance in place.”

Life insurance claims (including terminal illness benefit)

More than £683 million was paid out across 41,000 life insurance and terminal illness benefit claims.  99.4% of all claims on life policies were accepted.

Consistent with previous years, cancer was the most common reason for claim accounting for a third (33%) of all death and terminal illness claims. This was followed by claims for cardiovascular disease (21%) and respiratory disease (13%).

0.6% of all life insurance and terminal illness claims received last year were declined, with two-thirds of these due to the customer misrepresenting relevant information at the point of application, for example their health and lifestyle.

Critical illness claims (including children’s benefit and total permanent disability)

Critical illness claims continued to rise in 2022 in a return towards pre-pandemic levels. Nearly 4,690 claims were paid with more than £334 million paid out to customers diagnosed with a defined critical illness, including just over £5 million in children’s benefit.

In addition, Aviva paid more than £294,000 in children’s hospital benefit and just under £52,000 in adult hospital benefit.

The three big causes for an adult critical illness claim continued to be cancer at around 58% of claims, followed by heart attack (10%) and stroke (7%).

Claims for cancer were more common amongst women, accounting for around 72% of all critical illness claims by females, compared to around 50% of claims by men.  Heart attack was the second most common reason for claims by men at 18%, compared to around 3% for claims by women.

More than a third (36%) of children’s critical illness claims were for cancer, with haematological cancer the most common type claimed for at 46% of all children’s cancer claims.

93.5% of all critical illness claims were accepted, an increase from the previous year’s 92.4% claims acceptance rate. 4.3% of all claims were declined because illness definitions in the policy were not met. 1.9% were declined because the customer misrepresented relevant information at the point of application.

Income protection claims

More than £50 million was paid out in income protection benefit in 2022 with just over 3,680 claims for customers unable to work due to illness or injury. In addition, over £7m was paid in Back To Work benefit across 535 claims for customers returning to work.

During the year, 330 customers commenced early intervention support provided by Aviva’s in-house rehabilitation team or rehabilitation partner network, with 82% of those supported having returned to their usual role and working hours at the time our input came to an end.

For all customers in claim in 2022, the most common reason for claiming was mental health conditions, at 30% of all claims. Musculoskeletal claims accounted for 26% of all claims paid and cancer for 13%.

The proportion of customers who were under the age of 40 when they first claimed has increased from 32% in 2021 to 38% in 2022. The average age at claim was 41 for women and 43 for men, both lower than the average ages in 2021, which were age 42 for women and 44 for men.

With Aviva managing a number of older income protection policies, the claims data shows that the longest income protection claim that is currently in claim has been paying out for more than 35 years. The customer claimed for mental health and to date has received more than £415,000 through monthly benefit.

94.3% of all new and existing income protection claims were paid in 20222. 2.8% of all claims received were declined for misrepresentation of relevant information and 1.5% were declined as the policy conditions had not been met.

Total Aviva individual protection claims paid in 2022


Number of claims paid

Value of claims paid

% of claims paid

Life insurance

(inc: terminal illness benefit)




Critical illness

(inc: Children’s Benefit+Total Permanent Disability)




Income protection




Fracture cover




Hospital/Trauma/Therapy/Carer cover








Aviva’s Individual Protection Report will be published in May.

Further information

1 The claims paid rate of 98.3% across all individual protection policies is the highest reported by Aviva since it acquired Friends Life in 2015.

2 To align to the reporting method used by the rest of the industry, Aviva’s published claims paid rate for individual income protection claims is for all claims paid in 2022. In previous years Aviva has reported data for new claims assessed in the year.

Media Enquiries

Melissa Loughran

Senior Media Relations Manager

Notes to editors:

  • We are the UK's leading diversified insurer and we operate in the UK, Ireland and Canada. We also have international investments in India and China.
  • We help our 19.2 million (as at 31 December 2023) 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 2023, we paid £25.6 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
  • In 2021, we announced our ambition to become Net Zero by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. We are aiming to have Net Zero carbon emissions from Aviva’s operations and supply chain by 2030. While we are working towards our sustainability ambitions, we recognise that while we have control over Aviva’s operations and influence on our supply chain, when it comes to decarbonising the economy in which we operate and invest, Aviva is one part of a far larger global ecosystem. There are also limits to our ability to influence other organisations and governments. Nevertheless, we remain focused on the task and are committed to playing our part in the collective effort to enable the global transition. Find out more about our climate goals at www.aviva.com/climate-goals and our sustainability ambition and action at www.aviva.com/sustainability
  • Aviva is a Living Wage, Living Pension 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 https://www.aviva.com/about-us/our-people/
  • As at 31 December 2023, total Group assets under management at Aviva Group were £376 billion and our estimated Solvency II shareholder capital surplus as at 31 March 2024 was £8.5 billion. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE 100 index.
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