Aviva is a household name for consumer insurance, but is their business insurance any good? Customer ratings leave a lot to be desired—let's take an in-depth look at what real customers have to say as well as checking out the types of cover on offer and the occupations they cater towards to help you decide if Aviva is the best business insurance for you.
In This Review
Aviva Business Insurance Overall Review
Aviva can be an option for many small businesses looking for insurance, but customer ratings are questionable and their offering does have some limitations. Here's what you need to know, including data on which products they offer and what real customers have to say.
Buying business insurance direct from Aviva is more suited to the self-employed and micro businesses, and not as suitable for larger businesses—Aviva won't be able to offer you insurance directly if your business employs more than 9 people. For that you need to go through a broker. This can be something to keep in mind if you expect your business to grow that large. If so, it might be better to go with another insurance provider now, so you don't have to make a change later on.
Also, Aviva direct is somewhat restrictive in what occupations and activities they'll cover. For example, they won't cover handymen, restaurants or cafes, delivery drivers, etc. While they will cover gardeners, not those who work above 2 metres in height from ground level when tree lopping and pruning. After looking through who they will and won't cover, we'd say it appears that they avoid insuring higher-risk work. At the first stage of the quote process you have to select what work you do, so you'll know right away whether or not Aviva can offer you business insurance. On the bright side, you find this out before wasting any more time filling out an application.
Aviva doesn't offer cyber insurance, so if you rely heavily on computer systems or store sensitive customer data you may need to look elsewhere. Not all direct insurers offer this product, but Direct Line for Business does.
While online customer reviews throw a shadow of doubt on the customer service, we're not sure we'd put a whole lot of faith in them, as only a handful of customers have left reviews in the past year. In terms of their product offering, Defaqto has rated them top notch, with 5 stars on many business insurance products.
5 reasons to buy business insurance from Aviva
UK businesses have so many ways to buy business insurance these days—from comparison sites to brokers to direct insurers—you might be wondering if buying direct from Aviva is the best and cheapest option for you. Here are a few perks of buying your business insurance directly from Aviva:
- Online functionality. You can get quotes and buy a policy online.
- Monthly payments. You can pay monthly by credit card for no extra cost.
- UK-based. Customer service is UK based.
- Avoid the middle man. Aviva insurance policies are underwritten by Aviva Insurance Ltd.
- Easy access to documents. Download your policy documents instantly (useful for showing proof of your cover to clients).
- Flexible limits of cover. Because different businesses need different levels of protection (e.g., public liability of £1M, £2M or £5M).
Types of business insurance available from Aviva
Aviva offers the main business insurance products that most small businesses need. Their offerings include the most common types of business insurance and you're able to pick and choose the ones you really need, and not pay for cover you don't. Here's what Aviva offers in terms of business insurance:
- Public liability insurance protects against claims made by third parties (e.g., customers or members of the public) that your business caused personal injury or property damage.
- Employers' liability insurance protects against claims made by your employees if they become ill or are injured due to their work for you. Direct Line offers £10 million protection for legal costs and compensation as standard.
- Professional indemnity insurance is used if a client claims they've suffered a financial loss due to professional advice or service deemed negligent.
- Contents and stock insurance protects your a business's computer and other necessary equipment, as well as furniture and stock—from raw materials to finished goods ready for sale, etc.
- Van insurance covers vans used for professional use, whether used to transport your own goods or if you run a courier business.
- Building insurance protects your building premises if you own the property (otherwise this is your landlord's responsibility).
- Business interruption insurance provides cover up to £25,000 for the cost of temporarily relocating and lost turnover if your working premises became unusable due to an insured event like a fire or flood.
- Business car insurance covers your personal car if you use it for business purposes like driving to multiple places of work or to visit clients (but not for paid delivery work like being a courier or food delivery driver).
- Tools and equipment covers tools and equipment for tradespeople with a possible fast upfront payment of up to £1,500. Cover for tools left overnight in a vehicle is available, but subject to an extra premium.
Aviva also offers coverage that can be useful for the self-employed or small businesses like personal accident cover, although this doesn't technically fall under their 'business insurance'.
Aviva Business Insurance Features
As you'll see in the next section, Aviva has earned a 5-star Defaqto rating on its office, tradesman and retail business insurance products. That means that Aviva offers a good set of features compared to other products on the market. Here are a few ways that Aviva business insurance coverage stands out:
- Cover if a member of the public suffers injury or property damage
- Accidental damage for employees and visitors (e.g., for vehicles and belongings)
- Injury cover for working partners if your business is a partnership
- Legal expenses including £500/day if you need to attend court
- Product liability if you make or supply products
- Available with £1M, £2M or £5M of cover
- Covers clients claims of inadequate service or advice (e.g., designs)
- Cover for recovering damaged or lost data or documents (but no cover for computer viruses)
- Available with up to £2M of cover
- £10 million cover as standard
- Covers staff on work experience and those employed through government schemes
- Up to £500/day for attending court
- Cover for accidental damage
- Cover for broken glass (including boarding-up costs)
- Cover for accidental damage to underground cables and pipes
- Replacement locks if keys stolen (up to £50K)
Aviva Business Insurance Customer Service Reviews and Ratings
|Aviva Business Insurance Ratings & Customer Reviews|
|Trustpilot customer service rating||1.9 out of 5|
|Defaqto||5 stars (office insurance)|
|5 stars (tradesman insurance)|
|5 stars (retail insurance)|
Is Aviva business insurance any good? To find out, we've scoured through hundreds of online customer reviews to learn how customers rate their experience with Aviva business insurance. Here's are some recent customer reviews relating to business insurance specifically:
Direct Line for Business Insurance Trustpilot
Direct Line insurance has earned only 1.9 stars out of 5 at Trustpilot with 4 out of 5 giving Aviva a one-star "Bad" review. This rating is based on just over 2,000 reviews but is based on all of Aviva, not just their business insurance.
We looked through hundreds of reviews to find those specific to business insurance. Here is a sample of some of the negative reviews and complaints (to be honest we didn't find any positive comments) so you can decide for yourself if these experiences are relevant to you or not. To be fair, there aren't very many comments related to their business insurance specifically, so we wouldn't call this a reliable sample.
"They will not honour their business insurance. They sell substandard policies compared to other companies like eg AXA. I have complained to them and the ombudsman. Stay away from the company. I will never use them again for ANY insurance." - 24 Oct 2020
"We are a small business and have been declined our claim for Business Disruption. Very disappointed with their decision. I will now cancel my other policies with immediate effect. With other insurance companies paying their clients without hesitation I am now sorry we went with Aviva. We will now have to close our business as we can not survive financially." - 8 Feb 2021
"Had my tools stolen from the project I was working on, rang Aviva when they opened at 9am and didn’t speak to the correct department until 10.50am. However after finally getting through I was informed that I would have to be called back as Aviva couldn’t find my details using the policy number I provided them with. Another hour later I received a call back only to be told that nothing can be done until the underwriter sends my policy wording over so Aviva can check I’m insured. I pay aviva directly for public liability and extended tool cover, it was written on my policy documents in front of me that Aviva had emailed to me. How long should I expect to wait you ask, 3 to 4 days. 3 to 4 days in the year 2020 for a worldwide multinational insurance company to transfer documents. It would be quicker to print it off and post it. This whole fiasco leaves me tool-less and utterly deflated, some colleagues who also had their tools stolen were insured with direct line who could not have done more, £1000 paid directly to them for emergency tool replacement and quick and helpful responses informing them what to do next. So to summarise the above, if you want decent business insurance go to direct line. Aviva are absolutely terrible." - 2 Oct 2020
"Commercial landlords insurance not worth the paper it’s written on, as a landlord I have paid Aviva for years the one time I make a claim for business interruption due to tenants unable to pay rent due to Coronavirus ie shops have to shut so no income Aviva dismisses any claims due to the virus unless it’s specifically named in the policy. Typical insurance cop out" - 25 Mar 2020
"Awful business customer service. Phoned them to update my direct debit details. Was put through to finance department three times and all three times they just hang up on me. Never ever I will buy anything from them." - 10 Mar 2020
As you would have noticed, a high proportion of complaints relate to business interruption claims. Read more here.
How to Claim with Aviva Business Insurance
If disaster strikes and you need to submit a claim on your Aviva business insurance, find contact information here. Note: if you bought your Aviva business insurance through a broker, you should contact them directly for any claims or changes to your cover.
|Contact information for Aviva business insurance claims|
|General (e.g., public liability and employers' liability)||0345 030 7563|
|Professional indemnity||0207 157 2569|
|Buildings and contents insurance||0345 030 7074|
|Tools, stock and business equipment||0345 030 7074|
|Business income insurance||0345 030 7074|
|Landlord emergency (open 24/7)||0345 030 6945|
|Business vehicle and van||0345 030 6925|