How Good is Aviva’s New Simple Life Insurance?

Who Are Aviva?

Aviva is the UK’s largest insurer. Formed in its current guise in 2000 from the merger of two UK insurance firms, Norwich Union and CGU, Aviva can actually trace its roots all the way back to the 17th century and the formation of the Hand in Hand Fire & Life Insurance Society in 1696.

As well as general insurance (e.g. Motor, Home, Pet and Travel cover), Aviva also offers an array of personal insurances, including:

What is Aviva Simple Life?

Aviva Simple Life is designed to complement Aviva’s ‘full’ or ‘standard’ Life Insurance policy, known as Aviva Life Insurance+.

Whilst the existing Life Insurance+ policy is more comprehensive than the new Simple Life option, Aviva introduced Simple Life in recognition of the fact that many clients are both budget-conscious and time-poor.

As such Aviva sought to do something that addressed both of these issues whilst also boosting uptake of valuable Life Insurance among underserved clients. That’s when Simple Life was born.

Premiums for Simple Life Insurance start from £3.50 per month depending on your age, state of health and the sum you’re applying for. This is compared to £5 for Aviva Life Insurance+.

Meanwhile, there’s far less time required to apply for Aviva Simple Life than for its fully comprehensive option thanks to the simplified underwriting process.

Mark Cracknell, head of protection distribution at Aviva

Simple Life Insurance extends [Aviva’s] Life Insurance proposition to customers whatever their budget or circumstances… Simple Life Insurance is an important part of ensuring that we have a range of options to help more people put protection in place.

We believe this new policy will encourage customers who might have previously walked away from taking out life insurance based on cost or complexity.

Mark Cracknell
Head of Protection Distribution at Aviva

What’s Different About Aviva Simple Life?

There are a number of key differences between Aviva Simple Life and the insurer’s more comprehensive Life Insurance policy, but these differences are by design and are done with the aim to improve uptake of Life Insurance among underserved clients.

This is through making it more accessible in terms of price and the time investment required to take out this protection.

Underwriting

With Life Insurance+ there’s a full underwriting questionnaire and process to go through for the client. Aviva Simple Life, on the other hand, involves far fewer questions and the decision is an instant yes / no rather than what can be a drawn out process of collecting medical evidence in some cases.

If you have a more complicated medical history, then Aviva Simple Life may not be your best option — Life Insurance+ or a similar comprehensive policy from another provider to ensure you’re getting the best cover for your situation is likely to be more suitable.

This does mean that Aviva Simple Life isn’t really suitable for those with a notable medical history to be concerned with, although cover may be considered on standard terms or with a minimal loading for minor medical conditions such as:

  • High blood pressure without complications
  • Raised cholesterol without complications
  • Asthma
  • Minor mental health conditions (e.g. anxiety, depression or stress).

Support Services

Simple Life Insurance also includes a basic range of support services, such as funeral payments, grief counselling, estate administration through MyDigiExecutor and a bereavement guide, as well as gym discounts.

Given the stripped back nature of Aviva’s Simple Life, it’s incredibly positive to see added value services included at all.

This said, the services available on Simple Life are a downgrade from the more extensive added value services Aviva offers on its Life Insurance+ policy, which include its much-lauded Best Doctors service and access to a 24/7 medical helpline staffed by Bupa nurses.

Critical Illness Insurance

You cannot add Critical Illness Insurance to a Simple Life policy. This is because adding Critical Illness Cover involves a more extensive underwriting process with more medical questions than are asked when taking out a Simple Life plan.

If you want to add Critical Illness Cover to your Life Insurance, you’ll need to choose a comprehensive policy from Aviva or another provider which will offer the more vigorous medical underwriting necessary to provide additional illness cover.

Increasing Cover

Aviva Life Insurance+ allows you to increase your benefit each year in line with inflation to ensure the payout isn’t eroded over time by rising prices.

This isn’t an option on Simple Life Insurance, which means your benefit will stay fixed over time and you won’t be able to see it rise alongside inflation so that it retains its purchasing power over time.

Drewberry’s Expert Review of Aviva Simple Life

There are some core, key differences between Aviva Simple Life and Aviva Life Insurance+, but this is to be expected given Aviva Simple Life is aimed at a different demographic and premiums are at a different price point.

Rob Harvey, Head of Protection Advice at Drewberry

There will be some clients for whom Simple Life isn’t suitable, such as those requiring higher amounts of cover or those with more extensive medical histories to be concerned with.

However, it remains an incredibly competitive offering for healthy individuals whose insurance needs fall within the sum assured bandings laid out by Aviva and who want quick and fast underwriting decisions on their cover.

Robert Harvey
Head of Protection Advice at Drewberry

Overall, the introduction of Simple Life is an incredibly positive step for Aviva because it shows recognition for those underserved by the current Life Insurance market. Time-poor, budget-conscious clients who may have been deterred from purchasing cover due to the cost or time commitment required now have an option available to them.

Whilst you don’t get the full list of added value benefits that you’d receive if you were to purchase an Aviva Life Insurance+ policy, there are still a list of additional services you will receive alongside the policy which is great to see given that, at the end of the day, it is a budget policy.

I had a great experience with Drewberry, they have a lot of knowledge and expertise with life insurance and income protection and were able to advise me and arrange suitable products. Highly recommend.

Lachlan Mellings
12/08/2020
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