Aviva enhances critical illness cover to pay out on all heart attacks

Article date: 14 April 2014

Aviva has enhanced its heart attack definition on new critical illness policies, meaning it will now pay out on the diagnosis of a heart attack, regardless of how severe it is. This removes the requirement for customers to reach a specified troponin* level in order for the claim to be paid.

The move, which applies to policies taken out from 13 April 2014, follows on from a previous enhancement in July 2013 when Aviva significantly lowered the severity threshold for heart attack claims.**

Statistics show that a person suffers a heart attack in the UK every five minutes. It is little surprise then that heart attacks are the second biggest reason for Aviva critical illness claims, accounting for 11% of claims. During 2013 Aviva paid out more than £14 million to critical illness customers who had suffered a heart attack, an average of more than £66,000 per person.

The average age of claimants in 2013 was 48 for men and 46 for women – although in the last year the youngest male claimant was 31, and the youngest female just 29. Considerably more men than women appear to suffer from the condition, with 87% of claims coming from males.

Support for advisers

Aviva is also supporting advisers with educational materials about what happens when a person suffers a heart attack. Available on the Aviva4Advisers site the information is designed to help advisers understand exactly what a heart attack is, and how critical illness insurance can help the customer’s rehabilitation process:


Robert Morrison, chief underwriter for Aviva says: “Our number one priority is that we want to pay more claims and to be there for our customers when they need us the most, so whenever we make changes to our protection policies, this is our starting point. Our cover is constantly evolving to help as many customers as possible. We enhanced our heart attack definition less than a year ago to achieve this, and our latest move takes us a step further. This will help to prevent the situation of advisers having to tell clients that although their doctor has told them they’ve had a heart attack, it isn’t quite bad enough to receive a payment.

“Around 103,000*** people have a heart attack in the UK each year, so it’s perhaps no surprise that they are one of our biggest reasons for critical illness claims. The new definition is designed to cut out complexity, making the cover even easier for customers and advisers to understand. Customers can be reassured that quite simply, if they have had a heart attack, they can make a claim.”

About Aviva’s critical illness cover:

  • During 2013 Aviva paid out more than £158 million to UK customers with critical illness cover.
  • In 2013 2,171 customers received a critical illness payment with an average sum of £72,947.
  • Aviva’s critical illness policies cover 57 conditions, including 11 additional benefits.
  • In December 2013 Aviva enhanced its critical illness definitions on stroke and multiple sclerosis, the third and fourth biggest cause of claims. 

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If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:

Sarah Poulter : Aviva Press Office : 01904 452828 : 07800 691569 : sarah.poulter@aviva.co.uk

Notes to editors:

*Troponins are specific proteins found in heart muscle. Troponin testing is done to diagnose heart attacks. The higher the troponin level, the more severe a heart attack is.

** In July 2013 Aviva lowered the threshold of troponin levels which would need to be met in order for a heart attack to qualify as a valid claim. Before the change a customer would have needed a troponin level recorded at the following level or higher: troponin T > 1.0 ng/ml. Following the change, the required troponin level was reduced to T > 0.2 ng/ml.

*** Source: British Heart Foundation.

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