Aviva car insurance review
Aviva is a giant of the insurance world, and the biggest general insurer in the UK.
Globally it has 33 million customers. This review, however, will just focus on Aviva motor insurance.
While the company now goes by Aviva, it used to be known as Norwich Union in the UK until 2009.
Its “Why Aviva?” message is “We’re always here to help, with extra savings and support, for when you need it most.”
Pretty vague stuff and probably the least you’d expect from car insurance.
It’s other claim is somewhat more direct and eye-catching: quality car insurance with a claim that 10% of those who have insurance through the company pay £169 for standard cover.
There are also multi-car discounts of up to 18% when you buy insurance online (the 18% rate applies to just one in ten customers).
If you’re an existing Aviva customer, you can, they claim, get up to 20% off your car insurance when a policy is bought online.
They also boast of a 24/7 claims line.
Standard cover includes the following: Uninsured driver cover; personal belongings cover; recovery transport if you have an accident and can’t drive your car; windscreens, sunroofs and mirrors covered; repair network – they’ll send out someone to fix a dent or a scratch.
Excess starts at £150 and goes up to £1,050.
Types of Aviva Policy
For owners of cars that have a value of under £5,000, Aviva Third Party, fire and theft policy is often most appropriate.
This way you’ll only receive a pay out if an accident wasn’t your fault. If it is, or it’s 50-50, you’ll get nothing.
While third-party cover can work out cheaper, it’s always worth checking if this is your preferred option on the grounds of cost, because some insurers will even charge less for some comprehensive policies.
Perhaps the most obvious reason is that if you opt for third party, some insurers will categorise you as a higher-risk driver.
Aviva short-term insurance is also useful when you’re planning a trip and want to share the drive.
Most other drivers will be able to drive a vehicle other than their own and receive third-party cover.
However, that might be deemed unfair to the owner of the other vehicle, so short-term cover is a good solution. Aviva offer policies lasting between one and 28 days.
It’s quite possible for learner to be added to someone else’s policy, so allowing them to driver that person’s car.
But, of course, a claim will affect the other person’s renewal price and, unless it’s protected, also lose them any no-claims bonus.
So, learner insurance is an alternative. This allows you to cover yourself while driving a third-party’s car for a period of between one day and three months.
There are restrictions on this policy however – it only offers cover between 6am and 10pm.
But Aviva says cover can work out as cheaply as £2.50 a day.
Some insurers will allow you to build up your no-claims bonus while starting with such a policy. But we’ve looked through the small print and can’t find any mention that Aviva automatically allows that.
Might be worth trying to negotiate this, however.
Beyond the basics of third-party cover and comprehensive, Aviva, like most car insurers, offers a wide selection of optional extras.
Beyond the basics
Aviva insurace offers many add-ons.
These allow you to tailor your policy, should you wish.
Aviva breakdown cover is a fairly standard offering these days and Aviva is no different.
The same is true of protecting your no claims bonus, legal support and advice, a courtesy car, if your vehicle is off the road due to an accident; foreign use for protection if you take your car to Europe (third-party cover for 90 days a year is included in all UK policies at no extra cost); physiotherapy if you need it following an accident, and personal accident cover for serious injury to you or your partner as the result of an accident.
Before you fork out for expensive extras, make sure they're worth it by reading our guide.
What do customers think?
Everywhere we look, we see Aviva scoring well in terms of what its customers think.
The Which? survey of 31 car insurers ranks Aviva in 9th place overall.
It scored a very healthy four out of five stars for customer service, its handling of complaints and inquiries, transparency of charges and value for money.
Its total customer score was 69%, while it scored 70% for its policies and overall it received a score of 69%.
That adds up to a solid and reassuring score.
And for car insurance claims satisfaction scores for the leading car insurance brands, Aviva was in 5th place out of 23.
Its scores: customer service - 81%, speed of dealing with a claim - 84%, communication about claim process 66%, settlement value – 89%, overall satisfaction with claims 73%.
A little better communication and it would have been placed in an elite position.
Need to know
Aviva auto insurance has no admin charges for online policy changes - a big plus, considering how many insurers levy hidden admin fees.
Full repair cost for windscreens, windows and sunroofs.
Nice website, clean and plainly written. It also explains in no-nonsense terms what isn’t covered by your policy as well as what is. To our mind, that’s what transparency should be about.
No admin charges just for making changes to a policy if it’s done online (if your risk profile is increased by a change, your premium may rise, but you aren’t charged for the change itself).
WHEN DID YOU LAST SWITCH YOUR CAR INSURANCE PROVIDER?
Last year 65% of customers didn't switch their car insurance to try and get a better deal.