Aviva Private Health Insurance Review: How Does It Compare?

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  • Individual, joint, child and family policies available
  • Access to top consultants and hospitals
  • Pre-existing conditions covered
  • Free annual policy review

Compare private health insurance plans

Get your quotes

  • See prices for Bupa, Aviva, AXA, Vitality and more

  • Free quotes and impartial advice to find the best cover
  • Simple process
  • Individual, joint, child and family policies available
  • Access to top consultants and hospitals
  • Pre-existing conditions covered
  • Free annual policy review

As seen on

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Aviva is one of the largest general insurance providers in the UK covering a range of needs including car, travel, business, home and landlord insurance.

Generally speaking, our research into Aviva’s various insurance packages has found them to be a solid insurer overall — but how do they fair when it comes to their private health insurance offer?

In this review we’ll be breaking down Aviva’s private health insurance to give you the all-important details about what is and isn’t covered, customer feedback and how much this might cost you.

In This Review

Aviva Private Health Insurance: Overall Review

In terms of experience, Aviva is certainly impressive. They have been looking after their customers for over 320 years and in 2020 had over 18 million customers in their core markets (UK, Ireland and Canada) alone!

With this experience and popularity, it may come as no surprise that Aviva has won many awards over the years. In fact, they won General Insurer of the Year at the British Insurance Awards in 2020, widely recognized as one of the most prestigious events in the insurance world.

When it comes to private health insurance Aviva continues to impress — in 2019 they won Best Individual Private Medical Insurance Provider, Best Individual Critical Illness Provider and Company of the Year at the Health Insurance Protection Awards!

So, what do Aviva’s customers have to say? Well, Aviva overall is highly rated with a Trustpilot rating of 4.7 out of 5 indicating an ‘excellent’ customer experience.

However, we struggled to find may health insurance specific ratings for Aviva. In fact, the only ratings we came across was a disappointing rating of 2.7 out of 5 on the customer review website Smart Money People and 1.4 out of 5 on Reviewcentre! These are based on small sample sizes of less than 100 customers, however, so it’s important to take this with a pinch of salt.

Of course, customer experience is only a small part of what makes for a good insurance package which is why we’ll also be diving into what is and isn’t covered by Aviva’s private health insurance, optional add-ons and the all-important price.

Why choose Aviva Private Health Insurance?

There are many benefits to choosing Aviva’s private health insurance cover. We’ve listed some of the key perks below:

  • Multi-award winning provider: Aviva won Best Individual Private Medical Insurance Provider, Best Individual Critical Illness Provider and Company of the Year at the Health Insurance Protection Awards in 2019 as well as General Insurer of the Year at the British Insurance Awards in 2020
  • Speedy appointments: Aviva’s Digital GP gives you 24-hour access to professionals, and you can get an appointment in as little as 30 minutes
  • Family cover: Aviva give you the option to cover your partner and any children you may have. Also, if you have two or more children age 19 or under and add them to your policy you’ll only pay for the eldest
  • ‘Baby bonus’: Aviva also offer a ‘baby bonus’ where, if you’ve had a health insurance policy for over 10 months and your premiums are paid up to date, Aviva will give you £100 when you have a baby, or adopt a baby up to a year old
  • Flexible cover: Aviva give you the option to tailor your policy to suit your specific needs, with a variety of add-ons available such as mental health treatment and dental and optical services
  • 24-hour access to a stress counsellor: you can call Aviva's stress counselling helpline to discuss any worries you or your family have. Note, this service is only available to members aged 16 and over

Customer Reviews and Ratings

Aviva Customer Ratings

Trustpilot Rating

4.7 out of 5

Reviews.io Rating

2.1 out of 5

Smart Money People Rating

2.7 out of 5^ (private health insurance specific)

Review Centre Rating

1.4 out of 5^^ (private health insurance specific)

^ Note: this rating is based on a sample size of only 50 customers. Use as guide only
^^ Note: this rating is based on a sample size of only 75 customers. Use as a guide only

Aviva's private health insurance is considered to be one of the best products on the market when taking into account their coverage and benefits. When we take a look at health insurance specific customer feedback, however, we see a slightly different picture. Aviva average only 2.7 out of 5 on customer review site Smart Money People, and an even more disappointing 1.4 out of 5 on Reviewcentre.

It is important to note that these ratings are based on a smaller sample size, 50 and 75 customers respectively, so we would recommend taking these figures with a pinch of salt rather than at face value. Nevertheless, it is handy to know that some customers appear to have been left less than satisfied with their experience using Aviva and their private health insurance.

We feel it is also important to highlight Aviva as a company (i.e. not health insurance specifically). According to Trustpilot customers have had an 'excellent' customer experience overall, with an almost perfect rating of 4.7 out of 5. This is based on a huge sample size of over 17,300 reviews at the time of writing, so may act as a better reflection of a typical customers experience with Aviva.

Whilst this doesn't take away from the fact that the above customers had a less than perfect experience with their private health insurance, we do feel that overall Aviva appear to have the confidence of their customers. Let's take a closer look at what private health insurance customers specifically have to say about Aviva...

What does Aviva Private Health Insurance do well?

During our research we sifted through hundreds of pieces of feedback left by verified customers and we noticed that above all, Aviva are highly commended on their fantastic customer service. Their advisors have been described as caring, knowledgeable and helped customers at ease — this alone can really make a difference when you're worried and experiencing any kind of health issue.

“I spoke with the Health cover team regarding my husband who had a severe stroke 6 weeks ago and the advisor was extremely helpful and informative and advised my next steps to help with his rehabilitation etc. Today I received a bouquet of flowers and a lovely note from Emily and the Aviva team to wish us both well and brighten our day! Wonderful customer service and very thoughtful”

“I have had to make several health insurance claims. The customer service has been the best that I have ever experienced. The expertise of their claims experts is astounding. They have gone above and beyond to take concerns about getting care away from me and ensuring that I get maximum benefit from the policy... What she did for me has literally changed my state of mind about treatment and affording going private long term”

“I can only say how grateful I am to Aviva to have had a recent procedure, operation and follow-up appointments seamlessly agreed and paid for by my Health Insurance Cover”

What could Aviva Private Health Insurance improve?

Whilst Aviva have been highly praised for their customer service experience, it appears not everyone was left quite so satisfied. One customer was frustrated at the claims process, claiming Aviva went back on their word with regards to paying out on a claim.

Other customers have expressed frustration with accessing their policy documents and information online due to difficulties using Aviva's online services and odd hours of operation. There appears to have also been confusion amongst many customers around what is and isn't covered under their health insurance policy, leading to disputes further down the line.

“Appalling customer service...they approved a claim for a teenage child so she started counselling. After WEEKS Aviva called me saying there was mistake and that the claim may not be eligible as they had made a mistake so they need extra evidence from our GP. So they basically approved counselling then they went back on their word”

“My only criticism...is that their technology needs work. The app isn’t great and on-line functionality is not what it could be”

“I have been in a dispute for nearly a year applying for a claim on my critical illness cover policy. This company will do its utmost not to pay out unless your terminally ill with cancer. Happy to take your money for years amounting to thousands of pounds”

“Aviva Health Insurance: check carefully which hospitals Aviva do and don't cover! The well known hospital I needed to go to was not on their list so they would not cover costs, even though they cover the same procedure with the same doctor at other hospitals. The hospital they would have covered me at had a 3-month waiting list - similar to NHS”

“...my policy details, online claims process and other quite normal ditgial services are only accessible during bizarre office hours (for example Saturday from 4am to 4pm??). Effectively, outside of the wierd office hours, the website is 100% useless”

Health insurance can be a difficult field to navigate as it's filled with lots of healthcare related jargon that many of us are unfamiliar with. Some of the comments above left my frustrated customers could be a result of confusion and simple misunderstanding about what types of treatments and circumstances were covered in their policy — in any case, it is so important to ensure you set aside a chunk of time to sit down and properly read through your policy documents prior to signing any agreement.

This is your opportunity to identify any areas you need further clarification on, and any good insurer will have no problem answering your questions. By doing this you could avoid being in a similar situation to some of the customers above which will save you a lot of stress and time.

How much is Aviva Private Health Insurance?

We compiled quotes for Aviva's private health insurance based on the profile of a 35 year old male non-smoker from a mid-sized town in the UK. The prices shown below related to a no-frills single person plan (i.e. if you were looking to take insurance out for just yourself) with a £200 excess (Aviva do offer higher excesses, though you have to contact them directly to discuss this).

Private health insurance quote comparison for a 35 year old male non smoker (£month)

Aviva (Full cover)

£48 (£200 excess)


£36 (£500 excess)

Bupa (Comprehensive)

£36 (£500 excess)

Aviva (Limited cover)

£28 (£200 excess)

Bupa (Treatment and Care)

£28 (£500 excess)

Remember, the above figures are intended as a guide only and reflect the customer profile stated above at this particular point in time. Remember, there are many things that can affect the cost of your premium, for example, increasing your excess or if you are a smoker. Let's take a closer look at what Aviva's private health insurance offer consists of.

What is and isn't covered by Aviva Private Health Insurance?

Aviva offers two levels of private health insurance cover — limited and full. As part of their core cover both levels include the following:

  • Acute conditions: i.e. treatment for short-term illness and conditions
  • Hospital charges and specialist fees
  • Cancer care cover: covers cancer diagnosis, treatment and aftercare as standard

When it comes to Out-patient benefits this is where the two levels of cover differ. You can choose the 'limited' outpatient option, and if you set your limit at £0 you will find only the basic out-patient benefits are included. The 'full' cover means all of the below are included; if you select a limit of this cover (Aviva offers you the choice of £500 or £1000) all other out-patient benefits are covered up to your chosen limit per person per policy year.

What is typically covered?Limited out-patient cover (£0)Full out-patient cover

CT, MRI and PET scans

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Pre-admission tests before surgery

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Surgical procedures by a specialist in a clinical, sterile setting

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Consultations with a specialist

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Non-surgical treatment by a specialist as an out-patient

red x
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Diagnostic tests

red x
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Specialist referred treatment by a physiotherapist, chiropractor and osteopath

red x
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Mental health treatment as an outpatient

red x
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As the above table shows, there are many more specialist types of treatment and referrals covered under Aviva's 'full' cover option. That is not to say Aviva's 'limited' cover is bad! Of course it is very much dependent on your own personal circumstances as to which level is right for your needs, and Aviva's customer advisors are there to help you make the right decision.

Optional extras

Aviva offer a variety of benefits available to add on to their standard private health insurance package, regardless of whether you are thinking of opting for their limited or full cover. We've listed them below:

  • Other treatments and therapies: your GP can refer you for treatment by a physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopath or acupuncturist (10 sessions max combined total each condition, each person every year). This also covers minor surgery by a GP with a limit of £100 per procedure payable to the GP
  • Mental health treatment: this cover accommodation and nursing costs up up to 28 days for mental health treatment as an in-patient or day-patient. This also covers specialists' fees for in-patient mental health treatment up to Aviva's published fee guideline
  • Dental and optical: you can add extra cover to help with the cost of routine dental treatment (up to £250), accidental dental injury (up to £600) and optical benefit (up to £150) but note a £50 excess per person, per policy year applies separately to both routine dental and optical benefit
  • No Claims Discount (NCD) Protection: Aviva give you the option of protecting your NCDt for a small fee. This protection takes effect when a member makes any claims that would have caused their NCD to reduce. Instead, it'll stay at the same level but the protection will be lost. That means the NCD will apply in the usual way at the following renewal.

Aviva also give you the option to update or downgrade levels of cover depending on your needs and will naturally increase or decrease your overall premium.

Flexible hospital options: Aviva lets you choose between three tiers which determine your level of choice over which hospital treats you.

  • Expert Select: selected by default on Aviva's core cover. Aviva will provide you with a choice of quality assured hospitals in your local area when you need to make a claim
  • Key Hospital List: includes a range of private hospitals around the country and also private patient units within NHS Trust and Partnership hospitals that are recognized by Aviva
  • Extended Hospital List: increases the list of hospitals you have access to

Level of excess: choose between £0, £100 and £200 as standard. Aviva do offer increased excesses of £500, £1000, £3000 and £5000 per person, per policy year however you need to inquire with Aviva directly about this

Six-week option: Aviva will only cover private in-patient and day-patient treatment if it's not available on the NHS within 6 weeks from the date your specialist recommends it (Channel Island or Isle of Man residents excluded). You'll still benefit from private cover should your GP refer you to a specialist for out-patient tests or treatment

Exclusions: what isn't covered?

As with any type of insurance, private health insurance will contain certain exclusions that are good to be aware of so you don't get caught out. Bupa have a set list of treatments types and conditions that are not covered and we've listed some of the key ones below. Note the full list is much longer, so do be sure to read up on these in your policy documents:

  • Pre-existing conditions (unless Aviva have specifically included treatment relating to them)
  • Chronic conditions (i.e. long-term, excludes cancer treatment)
  • AIDS/HIV and related conditions
  • Treatment for pregnancy or childbirth (some complications may be covered as specified in the policy wording)
  • Diagnostic tests and treatment for infertility
  • Addictive conditions e.g. alcoholism and drug misuse
  • Treatment undertaken by a specialist without GP referral
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Cosmetic treatment (except following an accident or surgery for cancer)
  • Sports related injuries
  • Treatment required as a result of war or terrorism
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Sleep disorders and/or problems e.g. snoring and sleep apnoea
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Treatment by providers (such as specialists, practitioners, hospitals, facilities) that are not recognized by us
  • Treatment outside the UK

Remember, this list is longer and there will be some very specific scenarios detailed that won't be covered. To save any surprises we always recommend putting aside some time to read through your policy wording carefully.

With something as important as health, you don't want to find yourself in a position where you aren't covered for something you thought you were!

How to make a claim on Aviva Private Health Insurance

With Aviva it is relatively quick and simple to make a claim, should you need to. There are four basic steps:

Ask your GP for a referral: you can visit your GP in person or by using Aviva's Digital GP service. If your GP believes it necessary they can make a referral where they identify the treatment you need. They can make an open referral (recommended) where they do not name a specific person or hospital to carry out the treatment or a named referral where they name a specific person to carry out your treatment at a specific hospital.

Get in touch with Aviva: before you go for any tests or treatment it's important to contact Aviva to ensure these are covered under your plan

Start your claim: there are a few ways you can do this:

  • MyAviva app
  • By phone: 0800 068 5821 (Mon-Fri 8am-6.30pm, Sat 9am-1pm)
  • By email: [email protected]

Aviva may ask you about your symptoms and more information to gain a better understanding of your condition. Aviva will make a decision on your claim and connect you with the relevant hospital or service to book your appointment

Aviva will settle the bill: Aviva will usually settle any claims with the healthcare provider directly, and will contact you with information on any excess or other fees you need to pay

If you're referred for additional treatment be sure to inform Aviva — you may be asked for a procedure code so if you have been given one be sure to have this handy

Aviva Private Health Insurance: Discounts and Savings

There are some benefits that Aviva offer to their customers which can save you some pennies along the way...

  • Aviva's MyHealthCounts: this health management service encourages customers to take positive steps to improve their wellbeing. Aviva rewards customers with up to 15% discount on their premium renewal for any positive impact their efforts have on their health
  • MyGymDiscounts: Aviva customers benefit from discounted memberships at over 3,700 gyms, health clubs, leisure centres, bootcamps and yoga studios across the UK and Northern Ireland, including Channel Islands and Isle of Man

There are plenty of other easy tips and tricks at your disposal which can help you save on your health insurance. We've put together a handy guide for you which you can check out here.


You will notice in your policy documents or simply when researching private health insurance there appear to be many different types of 'patient'. This can be very confusing, especially for first-time health insurance buyers! We've offered a simple explanation below that should help clear up any confusion.

  • In-patient: you are an in-patient if you need to attend hospital for treatment, and need to stay in overnight (or longer)
  • Out-patient: you are an out-patient if you attend a hospital or clinic but do not need to stay overnight
  • Day-patient: you are a day-patient if you need to attend a hospital or clinic for treatment but do not need to stay overnight. Unlike an out-patient you will also require medical observation for a short while after.

No — however, Aviva will need to ask you questions about things such as your age, sex, medical history, lifestyle and occupation.

Yes! Comparing providers online is one of the best way to ensure you are getting the right level of cover for a price that suits you. We found Aviva to be on many comparison sites though we would recommend ActiveQuote and Assured Futures to start with, as these are recognized to be some of the best on the market.

With Aviva this depends on your underwriting type which affects how Aviva assess any pre-existing medical conditions you have. There are two types:

  • Moratorium underwriting: You won't need to tell Aviva about any pre-existing conditions when you apply, and if you had a pre-existing condition in the five years before you take out cover, you'll only be covered for it once you've been free from medication, treatment, diagnostic tests or advice for the condition for two continuous years after your cover started. Aviva will look at your medical history every time you make a claim and may ask for information from your GP to understand if your symptom or condition is new or pre-existing.
  • Full medical underwriting: You need to complete a full health questionnaire when you apply, and let Aviva know of any pre-existing conditions. Aviva may also ask for information from your GP. Under this underwriting, pre-existing conditions aren't usually covered.

If you wish to cancel your private health insurance with Aviva you will need to notify them by telephone by calling 0800 092 4590 or by writing to: Aviva Health UK Limited, Chilworth House, Hampshire Corporate Park, Templars Way, Eastleigh, Hampshire, SO53 3RY.

You can cancel your policy at any time, and if you cancel within the 14-days of your policy starting or renewing you'll be refunded the full premium as long as you haven't made any claims yet.

No — Aviva only cover treatment provided in the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands.