Adam Higgs’ note:

Aviva have made some very important announcements today both in terms of their approach to medical evidence and support for health charities, so we have given Mark Cracknell from Aviva the opportunity to explain their position in detail.

COVID-19: Aviva continues to support advisers and their customers.

At Aviva we’re focused on continuing to support advisers, customers and our health service in any way we can during the COVID-19 pandemic – so we wanted to take this opportunity to update you on how we’re doing that.

Requests for medical evidence to resume from 27th April

From Monday the 27th April we will resume requesting medical evidence for all applications in our pipeline, and also for all new applications.

We previously stopped these requests in order to help reduce pressures on the NHS. Having monitored the situation closely, we’ve reviewed this decision and feel that we now have the required confidence to safely reinstate this process. Any previously postponed applications remain live and will now be progressed – we’ll take care of this and there is no action required from advisers. If advisers have placed the business elsewhere in the intervening period or do not want us to progress a case, they can stop this by marking the case as NTU (Not Taken Up) within our online adviser platform.

The NHS and frontline workers remain a priority

We continue to support the NHS and frontline workers. We feel it’s important that, where possible, frontline workers aren’t impacted in their ability to obtain cover simply due to the work they do in their vital roles. Even if they have had direct contact with someone who’s been confirmed or suspected of having Covid-19, we will process their application. We would expect to offer terms assuming there were no other disclosures and will make all assessments individually through our manual underwriting process.

We’ve also pledged £5million to NHS Charities Together as part of a package of Covid-19 support aimed at helping customers and communities during the crisis. This is in addition to the £10million we’ve already pledged to the British Red Cross.

British Red Cross partnership

The £10million we’ve pledged to the British Red Cross will help ensure those made most vulnerable by the outbreak can get the right support at the right time.

The donation expands on our existing support of the charity’s Community Reserve Volunteer Programme, which enables British Red Cross employees and volunteers to respond to emergencies – something that’s more essential than ever during the pandemic. Find out more about the work we do with the British Red Cross.

Online services to support you

Over the last 6 years we’ve invested heavily in our online platform so that more than 75% of applications receive an immediate decision (based on Aviva underwriting data as at April 2020). What’s more, our tracking services let you know straight away if one of your clients lapses their policy or cancels a direct debit with an email direct to your inbox. We believe that this highlights the important role advisors play in ensuring cover remains in place, and we’re committed to continue supporting this vital work to protect customers and their families.

Our commitment

We’re committed to supporting the NHS, advisers and our customers to the best of our ability. It’s unclear as to how events will unfold in the coming months, but whatever challenges are to come, we remain committed to working together with advisers to support customers and the NHS in any way we can. For further information on our response to COVID-19 you can visit our FAQs which we are regularly updating. For anything else, please speak to your regular Aviva contact.

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