Aviva makes income protection more affordable and inclusive

Article date: 13 March 2012

  • Extensive review of occupational classes improves premiums and breadth of cover
  • Over 95% of customers can now be underwritten on an own occupation basis
  • Non-medical limits significantly raised in all age categories
  • Quicker customer journey with reduced processing and underwriting times

Aviva has made significant changes to its Income Protection Solutions policy so that more customers can benefit from highly competitive cover and benefits in a wider range of occupations.

Following one of the most comprehensive and wide-ranging reviews of occupational classes within the industry, around 250 occupational classes have been updated so that they better reflect today’s level of risk and improvements in workplace health and safety. For customers, the changes will lead to lower premiums and an increase in the breadth of cover, with the definition of incapacity less strict than it has been to date.

Many occupations previously classed as a higher risk, (e.g. journalists, chartered surveyors, vets and scientific professionals), have now been reduced, with 221 occupations seeing a reduction in class, and therefore premiums, as a result of the review. Additionally, a further 21 occupational classes that had previously been declined are now covered, including roofers, tilers and scaffolders.

Significantly, around 95% of occupations will now also be underwritten on an ‘own occupation’ basis1, rather than a ‘suited occupation’ basis or on terms where customers need to satisfy an activities of daily work (ADW) clause to realise a claim. As a result, the definition of incapacity will be less severe, and the benefits fairer and much clearer for customers.

Aviva has also raised many of the non-medical limits on its Income Protection Solutions cover. Now, applicants across all age ranges will receive a higher level of automatic cover without the need for a nurse screening examination or full medical examination, regardless of disclosure. The move complements last year’s increase of non-medical limits for Aviva’s life and critical illness cover and will improve processing and claim time for many people.

Additionally, there is no longer a requirement for automatic financial evidence, which has traditionally been required for high levels of income protection cover.
Jon Parker, chief medical underwriter, Aviva, UK Health, said: “With the proposed reform of the welfare state it’s now more important than ever for people to adequately protect themselves against the loss of an income through illness or injury. At Aviva, we are committed to making sure that income protection is affordable and accessible for as many people as possible.

“We have rigorously challenged the market’s classification of occupations and industries at certain prices and the particular definitions of incapacity, as the risks once associated with many occupations are no longer as high thanks to advances in technology and better workplace health and safety.  As a result, we have significantly improved our terms and premiums for customers in line with the risk their occupations bring today, not 20 or 30 years ago. We’re also pleased that the great majority of occupations will now be accepted on an ‘own occupation’ basis, enabling customers who are unable to do their job through illness or injury to more readily and swiftly access the benefits and rehabilitation support they need.”

Further information about Aviva’s Income Protection Solutions cover is available at www.aviva.co.uk/income-protection. The new underwriting terms will come into effect by 20 March 2012.

1Policies that are underwritten and accepted on an ‘own occupation’ basis will be assessed against the same own occupation definition throughout the entire period of any claim. We will not switch the definition to an ADW or “suited” basis.

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If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:
Melissa Loughran: Aviva Press Office: 01904 452791: 07800 691947 melissa.loughran@aviva.co.uk
Notes to editors:

Aviva provides insurance, savings and investment products to 43 million customers worldwide.
We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers and one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance. We combine strong life insurance, general insurance and asset management businesses under one powerful brand. We are committed to serving our customers well in order to build a stronger, sustainable business, which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are proud to work.
We are ranked as one of the UK’s top ten most valuable brands and Aviva Plc are in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2011 we invested £5.3m into our communities in the UK, which included 34% of Aviva employees volunteering nearly 33,000 hours for good causes.

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