Aviva Life and Critical Illness Cover


The Product

Aviva has introduced a number of changes to its existing life and CI plan, including:

  • Five new ABI+ ('Association of British Insurers plus') definitions. These are cancer; Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease; major organ transplant and motor neurone disease. Aviva says that the top four conditions, accounting for 90% of all CI claims, now have ABI+ definitions under its plan.
  • Three new conditions added. These are significant visual impairment, Crohn’s disease treated with intestinal resection and removal of an eyeball. Each of the three has a payout of the lower of 20% of the full sum insured and £20,000 and the plan continues after a claim is paid.
  • Children’s benefit has been increased up to the lower of 50% of the full sum insured or £25,000.

These latest changes are on top of others introduced in October 2011 (adding cover for low-grade prostate cancer and ductal carcinoma in-situ) and December 2011 (a new claims website to assist customers through the claims journey).

The policy itself pays out on death or diagnosis of a specified condition that meets the policy definition and survival for at least 14 days. Overall, Aviva now covers 48 critical illness conditions. Life cover can either be term assurance or mortgage life insurance.

To help advisers and their clients, Aviva has produced a 31 page guide that not only includes each condition definition, but also a glossary of terms (e.g. what does permanent mean?) and guidance notes.


  • Further enhancements to an already strong plan from the UK’s largest insurer.
  • Wider cover means more customers getting payouts from their CI plans.
  • Aviva has also focused on its improving its information, underwriting and claims functions.


  • As with other CI plans, there is still no effective catch-all CI definition.
  • More and wider definitions means greater complexity.
  • Cover is not as wide as some insurers that offer serious illness cover.

8 out of 10

SELECT THIS FOR... Individuals looking for life and CI cover.

The Company

Aviva is the UK’s largest insurer, with over 14 million customers. It is also one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance. Aviva is ranked as one of the UK’s top ten most valuable brands and Aviva plc is in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.

Contact Details

Website: www.aviva.com

Telephone: See website for most relevant contact numbers.

The Literature

See website.

What They Say

Chief underwriter Robert Morrison said: “We understand that many people find critical illness policies confusing, so we’ve reviewed our cover with this in mind. We’re committed to designing clear, effective products and we are confident these changes will help both advisers and customers to understand the excellent level of cover we offer.”

What We Say

Andy Couchman Andy Couchman

"Aviva is very much centre stage in protection these days, and these latest changes add to an already strong offering. It has also focused on the important but still essentially backstage underwriting and claims areas. We also like the fact that it has produced a comprehensive ‘at-a-glance’ guide to which conditions are included and the level of payment for each. That is increasingly important, given that CI still has no effective catch-all definition, while the ever-increasing list of what the best plans now cover adds complexity for both clients and their advisers.

"That said, the guide could be further improved by giving more information in some key areas, especially where that is helpful to understanding why the policy covers what it does, why definitions have been worded in a particular way and how common particular conditions are."

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