Aviva: Free child protection is a ‘moral obligation’

Aviva: Free child protection is a ‘moral obligation’

Aviva has announced it is offering a year of free life cover worth £15,000 to each parent of a child aged under five, as the insurer’s protection director told FTAdviser it felt a “moral obligation” to help more families obtain cover.

The offer will mean cover worth £30,000 for each eligible child if both parents apply, with cover available to both parents for each child registered before their fourth birthday. No payment is taken and no bank or credit card details will be requested from applicants.

The insurer stated that only 42 per cent of UK families have life insurance, yet every 22 minutes a child loses a parent, according to its Family Finances Report and work with charity Grief Encounter.

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Debates in the protection industry have focused in recent years on the paucity of coverage in the UK, with various reports suggesting pet insurance is more common than life cover or income protection.

Aviva said its free parent life cover offers advisers the opportunity to open up a protection conversation and get more families protected.

Louise Colley, protection director for Aviva, told FTAdviser that the free cover was her brainchild back in 2009 after she had twins and started thinking about the financial responsibility of having dependents.

“We’ve got to do more to get this on the radar of parents and hopefully this deal will make the conversation easier to start for intermediaries, who can potentially open the door to a whole new demographic.

“I see this as a moral obligation for Aviva and that’s why we’ve extended the offer. We’ve worked through the risks for our business and found we were comfortable, as it also helps parents think about engaging with other protection products.”

The policy lasts for 12 months and pays out if a covered parent dies during this time. In terms of eligibility criteria, applicants must be a UK resident and must remain so for the duration of the plan.

Applicants must be aged between 18 and 66 years, must not have received a positive diagnosis of HIV infection and must not, within the last 12 months, have received medical treatment for cancer, including leukemia or lymphoma.