Aviva - health insurer of the year: What are their pros & cons?

Aviva, or Norwich Union as they were formerly known as, are a global insurance brand and the fifth largest insurance company in the world. As a household name the chances are you’ll have seen the companies advertisements and sponsorship deals on TV. Yet Aviva are generally not associated with being a medical insurance provider, as they have built their brand and reputation on the substantial success of their life insurance products.

The healthcare arm of Aviva is relatively small in comparison with other branches of the company, but in spite of this, over the last 10 years they have developed a strong following in both the individual and company sectors. This has partly been due to the range of bespoke policies on offer, which offer a greater degree of flexibility to policyholders when choosing their benefits.

Type of Policies

Aviva offer the full range of policies you’d expect from a large private medical insurer, including the following:

  • Individual – With a full range of individual policies on offer there is something for everyone. You can opt for a full service insurance policy such as the popular Solutions model, or opt for a no frills diagnostic policy such as Speedy Diagnostics if you’ve got a budget in mind. Whatever your needs are Aviva committed to finding the right solution to meet them.

  • Company – Bespoke policies are available for companies of all sizes, from small local businesses to corporate giants. Aviva provide company private medical insurance to a number of household names including BSKYB and Tesco.

  • International – If you’re living or working abroad the successful international arm of Aviva medical insurance can help create the right policy for you, offering both protection and peace of mind.


  • Security – With a global name such as Aviva covering your policy you can be safe in the knowledge your private medical insurance is in secure hands.

  • Flexible policies – Aviva offer an exceptional degree of flexibility in their policies, you can tailor your policy to suit your needs, adding or detracting as much from your cover as you like.

  • Back-up service – Access to a team of physiotherapists who will assess your back claims over the phone, and put cover in place without the need to visit your GP. This service has proved to be extremely popular and has led to an improvement in recovery times and a faster access to treatment for policyholders.

  • UK claims department – Claims assessors are all based in the UK with offices in Sheffield and Eastleigh.

  • Award winner – Medical Insurer of The Year for the past three years in a row. Also won awards for Best Group PMI Provider and Best Customer Service.

  • Unlimited cover – no financial limits to any of your core policy cover.

  • Dedicated condition management teams – Oncology, psychiatric and cardiovascular claims are handled by dedicated claims handlers, so you can speak to the same person throughout the duration of your claim.

  • Deals – At present Aviva offer a 3 months free option for all new individual policies which are taken out for at least 12 months.


  • Shortfalls – Aviva has fee guidelines for all specialists, if your specialist charges above these guidelines then you could be eligible to pay any shortfall. Currently this process is being looked at by Aviva, with many more specialist now covered in full than previously, although shortfalls still do occur.

  • Long call waiting times – Aviva has taken on so much new business recently, it simply doesn’t have the staff to handle the load. Customers report call waiting times in excess of 10 minutes, and although it’s a free-phone number for many it represents an anxious wait.

  • Expensive – Generally Aviva’s policies and services are more expensive than the competition.

  • Small print – Aviva policies can come with a 6 week rule option which is often misunderstood and is a major cause of complaints. Make sure you fully understand how this policy add on operates before taking it out, this will save you any disappointment in the future.

Aviva is an industry leader when it comes to offering flexible policies to it’s clients. Whether you’re a big business or individual client, you can take advantage of this, and choose a bespoke policy that suits your needs. This saves you from the wasted expense of taking out additional unwanted features, yet ensures the policy is comprehensive enough to cover everything you require. With UK call centres and friendly staff you can be sure you receive excellent customer service, just make sure you read the small print!

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