Aviva life insurance review

We've analysed the life insurance cover available with Aviva to help you decide if its policies are right for you.

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Founded more than 300 years ago, Aviva now has more than 15 million customers in the UK, making it the nation’s largest insurer.

Its life insurance is designed to give peace of mind that your family will be on firm financial ground should the worst happen.

Who is Aviva?

Aviva can trace its roots back to 1696, with the establishment of the Hand in Hand Fire and Life Insurance Society. Previously operating as Norwich Union, the insurer rebranded to Aviva in 2009. Aviva is now the UK’s biggest insurer and has millions of customers in Europe, Asia and Canada too.

It offers a wide range of insurance products under the Aviva brand, including car, home and travel insurance, alongside life insurance, pensions and investments.

What types of life insurance does Aviva offer?

Aviva has three types of insurance that pay out a lump sum in the event of your death (term life insurance and over-50s life insurance) or diagnosis of a life-changing illness (critical illness insurance). For all types, the full amount of cover is only paid out once, even if you have a joint policy that covers two people.

Aviva term life insurance

With term life insurance you select how long you want cover to last. For example, you could choose a term that lasts until that hard-to-imagine date in the future when you finally pay off your mortgage. If, during the term, you die or are diagnosed with a terminal illness, your loved ones will get a lump sum payment.

Aviva offers three types of term life insurance.

  1. Level term life insurance: Both your monthly payments and the cover amount stay the same.
  2. Increasing life insurance: The cover amount increases in line with inflation. Your monthly payments also rise in line with inflation multiplied by 1.5.
  3. Decreasing life insurance: Your payments stay the same but the level of cover decreases over time.

Aviva critical illness cover

Aviva’s critical illness plans cover you for a maximum of £1 million if you’re diagnosed with a major illness. After you’ve received one payout in full, the cover ends. For some of the comparatively less serious conditions covered, such as low-grade prostate cancer or Crohn’s disease, Aviva pays out either £20,000 or £25,000 (or a percentage of your cover) on diagnosis and full amount of cover remains intact. You can claim for these once per person covered by the policy.

Aviva offers three types of critical illness cover.

  1. Level term critical illness cover: Both your monthly payments and the cover amount stay the same.
  2. Increasing term critical illness cover: The cover amount increases in line with inflation and your monthly payments may also rise.
  3. Decreasing term critical illness cover: Your payments stay the same but the level of cover decreases over time.

Aviva over-50s life insurance

When you take out an Aviva over-50s plan you can start by choosing either the monthly amount you want to pay (between £5 and £100), or the lump sum paid on death, up to the maximum shown in the table below. As with all over-50s life insurance policies, lump sums are typically lower than for standard life insurance policies, and the lump sum may be less than the premiums you’ve paid.

Once you turn 90 or you’ve had cover for 30 years, you stop paying premiums (and perhaps put the savings towards a 100th birthday party to remember).

Compare Aviva policies

Name Product Age range at application Cover range Term Pays out Joint cover Link
Aviva Term Life Insurance
 Aviva Term Life Insurance
Up to £5 million
1 to 50 years
If you die or get a terminal illness and aren’t expected to live longer than 12 months
Yes - only pays out for the first member of a couple to become terminally ill or die
 Aviva Critical Illness Cover
Up to £1 million
5 to 50 years
If you become critically ill and live for 10 days after diagnosis
Yes - only pays out in full once
 Aviva Over-50s Life Insurance
£257 to £32,054 (subject to age and premium)
In the event of death

Benefits of Aviva life insurance

  • Aviva offers parents of children under 4 a year’s free life insurance, with a cover limit of £15,000. There are a few exclusions – head over to Aviva’s website to find out more.
  • If you’re buying a house at the point you apply for Aviva life insurance, it will give you up to 90 days free cover before your policy officially starts, to cover the period between exchange of contracts (or completion of missives in Scotland) and completion on your new home.
  • Aviva’s critical illness policies pay up to £25,000 or 50% of the cover amount (whichever is lower) if your child has a critical illness.
  • Aviva’s life insurance plan (as bought directly from Aviva) gets a 5-star Defaqto rating.

Drawbacks of Aviva life insurance

  • According to the list of critical illnesses it covers, Aviva covers fewer conditions under its critical illness policy than some of its rivals.
  • As with most life insurance policies, Aviva’s policies have no cash-in value – if you stop paying your premiums, you won’t get any money back and your cover will stop.

Aviva life insurance exclusions

    The specific exclusions will depend on which type of cover you take out, so you’ll need to check the policy documents carefully, but some key exclusions are:

  • As with all insurance, if you don’t answer questions truthfully when you apply, this might invalidate your cover.
  • You must be a permanent resident of the UK to apply.
  • Aviva’s life insurance won’t pay a claim if you die as a result of suicide or “intentional self-inflicted injury” within the first 12 months of your policy.
  • You can’t claim under a terminal illness in the last 12 months of Aviva’s life insurance plan.
  • Aviva’s critical illness policies only cover you for the conditions named in the policy.
  • If you die within the first year after taking out an Aviva over-50s plan, the full cash lump sum is not payable unless you die as the result of an accident.

Aviva life insurance customer reviews

Aviva fared well in the 2024 Finder customer satisfaction survey, with 88% of its customers in the survey saying they’d recommend the brand to a friend. This put it in fourth place. Many respondents described the service as reliable and helpful, although some views on the prices were mixed.

One customer said: “Aviva are easily contacted if I have a query with my life insurance policy. They always deal with issues efficiently.”

Another simply commented: “Too expensive.”

On the reviews platform Trustpilot, Aviva overall gets 4 out of 5 – classed as “great” – based on more than 32,000 ratings (last updated: March, 2024).

What’s the claims process for Aviva’s life insurance?

Claims can be made by phone (0800 015 1142), using Aviva’s online form, or in writing to Aviva, Claims Assessment Team, PO Box 520, Norwich, NR1 3WG.

The person claiming will need the policy details and, depending on the claim, may also need to supply medical information (such as a doctor’s contact details) or a death certificate.

If the claim is accepted, payment will be made within five working days of Aviva’s decision.

Frequently asked questions

Life insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor

Finder scores, in blue, are based on our expert analysis. We also show reviews from users, where we've received more than 10, with a score in yellow. We gather more reviews from customers every year in Finder's customer satisfaction survey.

To find out more, read our full methodology.

The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations), aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When making a big financial decision, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice, and always consider your own financial circumstances when comparing products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

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