Life insurance claims

Frequently asked questions

How long will payment for a life insurance claim take?

It varies, but once we’ve discussed the claim, we can usually estimate timescales. Once we've agreed to pay the claim and have everything we need, we’ll aim to pay out within five working days.

If you'd like to help make a future claim faster, you could consider placing your policy in a Trust. You can then decide who gets the payment if you die, so executors won’t need to be involved in the process.

I have a joint life insurance policy. Will the cover continue for my partner if you pay a critical illness claim for me?

It depends on the type of life insurance cover you have.

If you have critical illness cover that’s independent of your life insurance, your life cover will continue for both of you if you carry on paying your premiums. If your partner also has critical illness cover, this will also continue, regardless of your claim.

If you have integrated critical illness and life insurance cover, life cover will end for both of you as soon as your claim’s been paid – unless we pay out for children’s benefit or additional critical illness cover, in which case, your cover will continue.

Check your policy documents or contact us if you’re not sure about what your policy covers.

When will I stop having to pay my premiums if I have waiver of premium/premium protection on my life insurance?

When you’ve been incapacitated for either one, three or six months (the deferred period).

Your policy booklet will explain what your deferred period is. Make sure you continue to pay the premium until you’ve contacted us and we’ve accepted the claim.

What’s mortgage payment protection?

It's a life insurance optional extra on some of our older policies that help to pay your mortgage repayments if you're unable to work for a certain length of time, if your incapacity is covered by your policy.

To check what you’re covered for, see your policy schedule in your policy booklet, or call us on 0800 015 1142. Mortgage payment protection isn’t available if you have premium protection.

If your policy was previously with Friends Life, contact us to check if the above applies to you.

For our joint protection, telephone calls may be recorded and/or monitored.

Why would I want to put my life insurance cover into trust?

If your life insurance policy is in a Trust, any life cover payout should go to the people you choose, and they’ll be paid quicker than if your policy wasn’t in a trust. It could also help protect the payout from Inheritance Tax.

If you’re considering a trust, talk to a financial adviser. Bear in mind that tax rules may change in the future. You can find an advisor at

Can I choose who gets the money from my life insurance policy if I die?

Yes. You could put your life insurance policy in a trust and name who you'd like to receive the money, if a claim is successful. If the policy is in an Aviva Trust, we can pay out faster (provided there’s at least one available trustee) when we accept a claim, as we don't need to wait for people to be appointed to deal with your estate.

Payments may not be counted as part of your estate, so may not be liable for Inheritance Tax. Tax treatment depends on your circumstances, and bear in mind that tax laws may change in the future. Setting up a trust has legal and financial implications, so you should talk to a financial adviser or tax specialist, which you can find at

You could include instructions about who receives any proceeds from your policy when you make a will, but this may not provide the same protection against Inheritance Tax.

Do you need to see original documents for a death claim?

Yes. We need to see the original death certificate and can’t accept a copy. We may also need to see original copies of the document proving your legal entitlement to deal with the estate (eg grant of representation). We'll return these to you as soon as we can. See our claims process.

How do I apply for a grant of representation?

You can apply for a grant of representation yourself or pay a solicitor or probate specialist to do it for you. In Scotland, you’ll need a certificate of confirmation, which you can apply for at the local Sheriff Court.

How do I tell Aviva about a death on a life policy?

If a loved one held a life insurance policy with us and has died, find out how to let us know and how to start a claim. We’ll guide you through the claims process step-by-step and you can ask us any questions you have along the way.

Plus, to help you work out what other practical tasks you need to think about, we’ve pulled together a helping you through bereavement guide.

If I cancel my life insurance policy, can I get my money back?

No. Our Life Insurance Plan has no cash value at any time.

You have a 30-day cooling off period from your policy start date, or from when you get your policy documents (whichever is later), to change your mind. If you want to cancel within this time, we'll refund any premiums you've paid. If you want to cancel the policy after the cooling-off period ends, your premiums won’t be refunded. If you cancel your policy, you won't be able to make a claim.

What’s an interim death certificate, and can you accept this?

You may get an interim death certificate if the death gets referred to a coroner and an inquest is opened. We can accept this, but we'll usually need to ask the coroner to give us some more information before we can start to assess the claim. You may need to wait until the inquest is complete before we can assess the death claim.

What’s total permanent disability benefit?

It’s a benefit that pays out an agreed sum of money if you have an illness or injury that means you’re permanently incapacitated.

We define total permanent disability by how it impacts your work and daily life. Whether you qualify for a payout depends on the disability, and if it’s included in your policy. Check your policy details or call 0800 015 1142.

For our joint protection, telephone calls may be recorded and/or monitored.


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