Aviva Income Protection+ Review

Aviva Income Protection Insurance [REVIEW]

Who Are Aviva?

As it stands today, Aviva was created through the merger of Norwich Union and CGU PLC in 2000. The business later adopted the name Aviva in 2002. However, Aviva can trace its origins all the way back to 1696.

As well as being the UK’s largest insurance company, Aviva is also the world’s sixth-biggest insurer. It has around 33 million customers worldwide.

Aviva is a public limited company (PLC), with a primary listing on the London Stock Exchange. It’s also constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

Samantha Haffenden-Angear, Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

Aviva’s Income Protection is a comprehensive plan with many additional benefits.

Members get access to Aviva’s Digicare+ support services, which includes Virtual GP, physiotherapy and counselling services.

Samantha Haffenden-Angear
Independent Protection Expert at Drewberry

Aviva’s Income Protection

Aviva Income Protection+ is the company’s Income Protection offering.

Policy Overview

  • A flexible policy that comes with a range of additional benefits and support services included for free.
  • Offers the option to add various extras to your policy for an additional monthly premium. Together, all this makes for an incredibly comprehensive Income Protection plan.
  • Drewberry often recommends Aviva when clients are seeking Income Protection for doctors and surgeons, as well as for other medical professionals such as nurses and midwives. This is because of the special deferral period Aviva offers which matches the sick pay these professionals get from the NHS.

Documentation

Aviva Income Protection key facts
Aviva Income Protection Policy Terms pdf

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What Does Aviva’s Income Protection+ Cover?

Aviva Income Protection policies are some of the most comprehensive on the market in terms of cover.

Aviva Income Protection Coverage

Maximum Cover

65% of gross earnings up to £60,000 plus 45% of gross earnings above £60,000.

Maximum benefit of £20,000 per month / £240,000 per year.

Premium Type

Either guaranteed or reviewable premiums.

Maximum Claim Duration

Full cover to term
Pays out with no limit in the event of a claim, up until your chosen retirement age if you can never work again.

24 months limited payment term
Pays out for up to 24 months for each incapacity. If you return to work for 6 consecutive months, you can claim again for the same illness / injury.

Incapacity Definition

Own occupation

Deferred Period

4 / 8 / 13 / 26 / 52 / 104 weeks

Indexation

Optional

Waiver of Premium

Automatically included after the sooner of 13 weeks / the end of your deferral period

We have taken care to ensure that information on this Drewberry owned website is accurate. However, we offer no guarantee as to its accuracy and accept no liability for any losses, whether direct or indirect, arising from errors on our part.

Key Benefits

High Monthly Benefit

Aviva pays out 65% of your earnings up to the first £60,000 and 45% of your earnings above £60,000, up to a maximum benefit of £20,000 per month or £240,000 per year.

This is one of the highest in the industry. We therefore often recommend Aviva to very high earners.

Wide Choice of Free and Paid-For Additional Benefits

Alongside your Income Protection, Aviva offers benefits such as mental health support, physiotherapy, annual health checks, nutrition consultations, hospitalisation benefit, bereavement counselling and more for free.

You also have the option to purchase additional benefits for an added premium, such as fracture cover or global treatment.

These are laid out in more detail below.

Benefit Guarantee

Aviva, like all insurers, bases your Income Protection benefit on your your income. If your income falls, you may only therefore be entitled to a smaller benefit. However, Aviva’s benefit guarantee means that if your salary falls after you take out a policy, your benefit won’t necessarily fall also.

If your benefit is £1,500 a month or less, Aviva will still pay your chosen monthly benefit in full. If your benefit is more than £1,500 per month, Aviva performs calculations based on your new salary.

In circumstances where the benefit you’re entitled to on your new salary is 90% or more of your chosen benefit, Aviva will still pay your chosen benefit. If the benefit you’re entitled to based on your new salary is less than 90% of your chosen benefit, Aviva will pay the higher of £1,500 per month or your new calculated benefit.

Automatic Waiver of Premium

In the event of a claim, Aviva automatically includes waiver of premium. It starts paying your premiums from the sooner of 13 weeks of incapacity or the end of your deferral period.

Special Deferral Period for Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses and Midwives

Aviva takes into account that certain medical professionals within the NHS get a maximum of 6 months full sick pay and 6 months of half sick pay. Such professionals can therefore choose a deferral period of 52 weeks.

You start getting some of your benefit after your sick pay falls to half pay. Then, when your NHS sick pay stops, you get your full benefit.

Increasing / Indexed Cover Available

Aviva offers optional index-linked Income Protection. If you choose this, your benefit amount will increase with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index (maximum increase of 10% annually).

Also available is an optional fixed increasing benefit, which sees your benefit rise by either 3% or 5% annually depending on your choice.

If your benefit increases, Aviva also increases your premiums. These will rise by the percentage increase in the benefit amount multiplied by 1.5.

Additional Benefits

Aviva DigiCare+

Aviva DigiCare+ offers a wide range of support services alongside its Income Protection. These include:

Bupa Anytime HealthLine

An unlimited 24 / 7 / 365 helpline staffed by Bupa nurses. You can ask them a range of medical questions focusing on medication queries, health concerns, travel advice and mental health.

Available to you, your partner and eligible children up until their 18th birthday (age 21 if in full-time education).

Digital GP Consultation

An optional paid-for service, this provides up to three digital GP appointments per year shared between you, your partner and eligible children up until their 18th birthday (age 21 if in full-time education).

Available via phone or video link, you’ll receive an appointment within 24 hours.

Mental Health Support

Up to six video or telephone appointments with a qualified psychotherapist shared between you, your partner and eligible children up until their 18th birthday (age 21 if in full-time education).

Second Medical Opinion

If you develop a physical or mental health condition, you get access to a face-to-face second medical opinion from a UK-based specialist. They can look at your diagnosis or treatment plan and suggest potential improvements / alternatives.

You get up to two appointments per year shared between you, your partner and eligible children up until their 18th birthday (age 21 if in full-time education).

Physiotherapy

Access to fast physiotherapy exactly when you need it. It includes an initial phone consultation, an online physiotherapy program and up to three face-to-face sessions per condition per year. You can use it up to twice per year for separate conditions.

Annual Health Check

A free annual health checkup via a finger prick blood test. Aviva sends you a kit through the post, which you do in the comfort of your own home and send it back to a lab for analysis. It picks up 20 markers of potential disease, letting you get ahead of any health problems.

Nutrition Consultation

Offers up to six consultations per year with a qualified nutritionist shared between you, your partner and your children aged between 12 and 18 (up to age 21 if in full-time education).

This includes an assessment of current nutritional / lifestyle choices, advice and guidance on optimal eating plans and advice on changing relationships with food.

Gym Discounts

Up to 25% off your gym membership at a range of UK gyms, including health clubs such as Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Centres, Livingwell, Curves, Spirit and Fitness Express, plus a number of independent outfits.

Bereavement Counselling

Up to six video- or telephone-based sessions with a qualified counsellor shared between you, your partner and your children aged between 16 and 18 (up to age 21 if in full-time education).

You can use these sessions in the 12 month period following the death of a close family member.

Back to Work Benefit

After an illness / injury, if you’re still able to work but earnings less than previously due to your condition, perhaps because you’ve changed roles or taken on less hours / duties, Aviva will top up the earnings you are receiving.

You won’t receive your full benefit to reflect the fact that you’re still earning, but will get a top up for the reduced earnings you currently have due to your health.

Hospitalisation Benefit

If you need to spend more than 6 consecutive nights as a hospital inpatient during your deferral period, Aviva pays £100 per night from the seventh night. This is up to a maximum of 90 nights per policy term.

Trauma Benefit

Pays out a lump sum of the lower of £40,000 or six times your monthly benefit if you suffer from one of the following traumas:

  • Permanent, irreversible blindness
  • Total, permanent and irreversible loss of speech due to illness / injury
  • Permanent, irreversible deafness
  • Complete severance of a hand or foot at the wrist or ankle
  • Total, permanent and irreversible loss of muscle function to a limb causing paralysis
  • Loss of independence (based on your inability to do three of six activities of daily living: washing yourself, dressing yourself, feeding yourself, using the toilet, moving and transferring to and from a bed / wheelchair / chair / toilet etc.

Life Change / Guaranteed Insurability

Offers you the chance to increase your benefit by the lower of 50% or £9,000 per year without additional medical evidence if you:

  • Get married / enter into a civil partnership
  • Divorce / dissolve a civil partnership
  • Change employers / get a promotion
  • Become a parent
  • Get a bigger mortgage because you’re moving / improving your current home
  • See an increase in your rent due to moving home or your landlord increasing your rent
  • Move from rented to mortgaged accommodation
  • Are taking out a mortgage to purchase a property
  • Get a pay rise of more than 20% since taking out the policy, which can be in increments or in one go.

Optional Extras

Fracture Cover

An optional extra for an additional £4 per month, fracture cover sees Aviva pay a lump sum of between £2,000 and £6,000 for a specified fracture depending on the nature of the fracture and the bone you break.

It does not cover fractures you sustain in the course of mountain biking / BMX, boxing, cage fighting / martial arts, rugby / Gaelic football, horse rising or motorcycle ports.

Aviva pays one claim per 12 month period.

Global Treatment

An optional extra for an additional £3 per month, this offers you or your child access to Aviva’s Best Doctors service, an expert second medical opinion and overseas medical treatment if you / your child develop an illness requiring a medical procedure.

Aviva pays up to £1 million per eligible person per year, up to a total maximum of £2 million. This limit includes all travel, accommodation and treatment expenses.

Key Comparison Points

104 Week Deferral Period

The availability of a 104 week deferral period, or 2 years, is one of the longest in the industry. It’s very useful if you get an extended period of sick pay or have significant savings / investments etc. you could live off for 104 weeks and only require the Income Protection thereafter.

Choosing a 104 week deferral period, if appropriate, offers significantly lower premiums.

Shortest Deferral Period is 4 Weeks

While Aviva offers the 104 week deferral period option, its shortest deferral period is 4 weeks.

Other insurers offer deferral periods of 1 week or even 1 day. If you need a shorter deferral period, perhaps because you don’t get much sick pay and have little in the way of savings, another insurer may be a better option.

Dual Deferral Periods

Aviva offers dual deferral periods, which is fairly unique. This means you receive a reduced benefit for an initial period, followed by your full benefit later.

This is a way to allow for earnings you expect to receive after you fall ill, such as sick pay.

Special Cover for Doctors, Surgeons, Nurses and Midwives

Aviva is one of a handful of insurers offering specialist cover to NHS workers such as doctors, surgeons, nurses and midwives.

Income from State Benefits and Investments Discounted

Aviva discounts income from state benefits and investments when looking at ongoing income after an incapacity.

Some other insurers take state benefits into account when assessing your income after an illness / injury and won’t pay the full benefit amount if you’re in receipt of benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance.

Great Choice of Additional and Optional Benefits

Aviva’s free additional benefits, particularly DigiCare+, available alongside the policy are incredibly comprehensive. Aviva also offers optional extras in the form of fracture cover and global treatment.

Put together, Aviva’s additional benefits are among the best in the industry.

Digital GP Service is a Paid Extra

This said, to add virtual GP appointments to Aviva DigiCare+, you have to pay £36 per year. As you’re allowed three sessions per year, this works out at £12 per appointment if you make use of them all.

Other insurers offer a virtual GP service for free alongside Income Protection.

Choice of RPI-Linked or Fixed Annual Increases

Aviva is fairly unique in that it offers a choice when it comes to an increasing benefit.

You can either choose to index the benefit, in which cause it will rise each year by the same rate as RPI (up to a maximum of 10%). Alternatively, you can choose a benefit that increases by a fixed rate of 3% per year or 5% per year depending on your needs.

Compare Income Protection Quotes & Get Expert Advice

As you can see, when looking to compare Income Protection Insurance there are lots of points to consider. With so many factors and a lot of different terminology at play, it can be tricky to do an accurate like-for-like comparison between providers.

Why Speak to Us?

We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.

We all deserve a first class service when it comes to issues as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

For help and fee-free advice on Income Protection, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can reach us on 02084327333 or email help@drewberry.co.uk.

I’ve held a policy with Drewberry for several years now. They are always friendly, insightful and offer great service.

Dan Pettitt
13/01/2021
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