Aviva customers received over £29.5 million in income protection last year

Article date: 23 April 2012

  • The average length of time that customers claim for is nine years
  • Psychiatric conditions are the most common reason for claims (28%)
  • The average age for starting a claim through disability is 44 years
  • The longest time in claim is (currently) 36 years.

Aviva’s income protection cover provided payments totalling more than £29.5 million in 20111, helping around 2,600 customers who were unable to work for long periods of time due to illness or accidental injury.

Aviva’s claims data, published as the Government’s reduction in state benefit for people on long-term sick takes effect, shows the range of conditions that prevented or restricted customers from working last year, and the length of time some Aviva customers are in claim.

Psychiatric conditions were the most common reason for claim last year, with more than one in four income protection claims (28%) paid for this reason. Just over a fifth (21%) of claims were for orthopaedic conditions, which also account for one of the longest average periods of time in claim, at 10 years. The third most common condition claimed for is neurological, with 18% of claimants unable to work for this reason.

The data also shows that of the claims relating to psychiatric conditions in 2011, moderate depression was the most common, with nearly a third (28%) of psychiatric claims made for this reason. Anxiety was cited for 15% of psychiatric claims, and stress for 12%.

The average age for the start of a claim through disability is surprisingly low at 44 years, (45 for men and 43 for women); and nearly half (45%) of individual income protection customers currently receiving benefit have been in claim for over 10 years. The longest current claim is for a corporate customer who had to give up work 36 years ago as a fitter due to an orthopaedic condition.

Aviva paid over 91% of income protection claims in 2011 and last month announced that it has significantly changed its Income Protection Solutions offering to make cover more affordable and accessible to a wider range of customers. Aviva is also working with the industry to agree a consistent approach to reporting income protection claims pay-out rates.

Will Kentish, head of income protection, Aviva, UK Health said: “We want to help customers understand the importance and real benefit of protecting their income by releasing this data. The figures show just how young the typical age can be for loss of income due to injury or illness, and just how long this can last. As the Government’s changes in Employment Support Allowance take effect, we’d encourage people to consider how they can ensure a regular income for as long as they would need, if they were prevented or restricted from working due to illness or injury.”

Examples of claims paid in 2011 for a range of customers are detailed below.



Age stopped work

Time in claim

Current monthly benefit (potential total benefit from start of claim until policy expiry)

Policy in force before claim




11 years

£574.78 (£219,727)

5 months

Taxi driver

Eye condition


18 years

£1,993.32 (£268,830)

1 year

Bus driver



 24 years

£165.49 (£115,004)

3 years

Financial consultant



10 years

£652.23 (£198,277)

6 years

HGV driver



11 years

£1,776.59 (£164,124)

8 years

Haulage contractor



26 years

£217.41 (£88,920)

8 years

Station manager



12 years

£1,421.24 (£124,246)

9 years


Blood disorder


6 years

£1,531.00 (£125,542)

10 years




16 years

£435.67 (£93,486)

12 years




8 years

£1,957.00 (£320,948)

13 years


If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:
Melissa Loughran
Aviva Press Office
Telephone: +44 (0)1904 452791
Mobile: +44 (0)7800 691947
Email: melissa.loughran@aviva.co.uk

Notes to editors:

1 This is the total amount paid to both group and individual income protection customers during 2011.

About Aviva

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.
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