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Aviva has announced that it is delivering on its COVID-19 Pledge by paying £81m to eligible UK private health insurance customers.
The figure represents Aviva’s current estimate of the difference between expected claims costs and actual claims costs for the period of claims monitored, from 1 March 2020 to 31 December 2022, when some treatments and procedures were delayed rather than cancelled. For individual customers the payment will be approximately six weeks’ worth of their annual premium and for SME customers the payment will be around seven weeks’ worth of their annual premium. For large corporate clients, payments will vary across schemes depending on each scheme’s claims experience.
Last October, Aviva announced an extension to the timeframe of the COVID-19 Pledge until the end of 2022, stating an expectation that it would take longer for claims for deferred treatment that otherwise would have been made during the pandemic period to arise. Ongoing analysis by Aviva now shows that the claims catch-up has been slower than expected and combined with the current pressures on UK household finances, Aviva has concluded that a payment earlier in 2022 delivers the best outcome for customers.
Payments will not be subject to the potential increase that was outlined in the October update as the payments are now being made within the original Pledge timeframe, rather than being delayed until 2023. As stated in the Pledge, customers and clients who paid a premium across the period 1 March 2020 to 31 March 2021 will be eligible for a payment, even if they no longer hold a policy.
Grant Thornton UK LLP have independently reviewed Aviva’s approach in line with the COVID-19 Pledge commitment. Aviva will be contacting brokers and their clients over the coming weeks to let them know about the payments. Aviva will continue to monitor claims until the end of the year and if any further payment is made in 2023, this will include a 20% increase.