96% of claims accepted in 2018

Aviva accepted 991,700 claims from its UK customers in 2018. We accepted 96% of the claims received, worth more than £3.8 billion – the equivalent of £10,430,035 every day, or £7,243 going to customers every minute across its UK motor, home, health, protection, travel, life and critical illness businesses.

"Insurance is there to protect against the unexpected, no matter how unlikely the circumstance. And in volume and variety, our data on the claims we accepted in 2018 shows that Aviva helped its customers when they needed us most." 

Andy Briggs, Chief Executive Officer, Aviva UK Insurance

Key claims events

In 2018 there were a number of key events which led to claims being made. These included:

The fire at the Liverpool Echo Arena car park on New Year’s Eve 2017, which led to more than 120 fire claims. Aviva settled 90% of these within 12 days. Fire accounts for just 1% of Aviva’s motor claims.

Beast from the East, part I: we had around 7,000 home insurance claims due to storm, flood and freeze in the first half of the year, settling 10% of these claims on the same day.

Beast from the East, part II: we also accepted around 3,000 weather-related motor claims in H1 2018, mainly due to the adverse weather from Beast from the East. Using digital tools, Aviva was able to settle 50% of total losses (motor) on the same day, getting customers back on the road quickly.

The combination of dry weather and high temperatures resulted in an increase in the number of road traffic accidents reported to Aviva over the summer. Factors such as sun glare and an increase in the number of cars on the road are thought to be contributing factors.

Likewise, the extended dry, hot summer increased the severity of fire claims in commercial properties; although the incidence of fire claims was not materially higher, the hot weather and dry conditions meant that the damage from fire was higher than usual, increasing the severity of the claim.

Airline strikes, airline supplier failure, weather and IT issues at airports all played a part in increasing the total number of travel insurance claims we accepted in 2018 by 28%.

2018 ended with drones disrupting air traffic at Gatwick Airport. The holiday timing of this caused delays and cancellations for thousands of holidaymakers. 

There when bad things happen

For most customers, making a claim is an unfamiliar experience. They contact Aviva when something bad has happened to them, looking to Aviva to help put it right. Traditionally, customers rang Aviva’s 24/7 claims centres to make an enquiry or submit a claim.

Increasingly, however, customers are turning to digital channels to make a claim, either online or using the MyAviva app. For some people, the last thing they want to do when something’s gone wrong is to talk with someone to explain it – for example, Aviva saw a 70% increase in the number of health claims made online in the second half of the year and more than 1,500 customers a month used our live chat facility to discuss their health insurance claim. 

The speed and ease of digital is also a big attraction: 30% of Aviva’s direct home and motor customers now notify their claim online, with more than 40% claiming online during the bad weather from ‘Beast from the East’. More than 70% of motor insurance customers book their car repair online.

The purpose of insurance is to get the customer back to ‘normal’ – whatever that is. Sometimes that is a simple payment for a damaged item, but other times that is not always possible. Aviva has been supporting employees of its Group Income Protection customers with a range of rehabilitation services to help them get back to normal and back to work.  Last year, Aviva provided rehabilitation services to 1,203 people – our highest number to date – helping them get well enough to return to work. Nine out of 10 rehab cases resulted in a positive outcome for the customer.

Why a claim is declined

The small number (4.1%) of claims logged by Aviva but not accepted last year were due to reasons that are common across the industry. These include:

  • the value of the claim not meeting the policy excess (the first part of the claim that the customer pays)
  • a pre-existing health condition/lifestyle choice was not declared when taking the policy out
  • making a claim for something that falls outside of the policy terms – eg if we open a claim from a customer, but subsequently find that the cause of the claim is not covered. An example of this would be if we register a claim which, once we look at the damage, turns out to be the effect of gradual wear and tear or damp and dry rot – none of which are covered in standard home insurance policies.

Andy Briggs continued: “In last year’s claims report we promised we would continue to improve our processes to make it even easier for our customers to claim. We have made substantial progress against this goal in the last year, launching a range of digital tools to make claiming easier for customers, from booking and tracking car repairs online to a digital tool that can settle total loss motor claims on the same day.

“A significant milestone on this journey came with the pilot and launch of AvivaPlus. While much has been made of AvivaPlus’ renewal price guarantee and simplified policy terms, there is also an important claims element that benefits customers, such as quick claims decisions on electrical items under £2,000.

“At Aviva, our purpose is to help customers defy uncertainty. It’s important that our customers can count on us when the worst happens. I’m proud that last year we were able to help so many of our customers when they needed us most. But, like last year, we will continue to improve the claims process for our customers so it is effortless.”

You can read the full press release here.