The origins of Aviva life insurance can be traced back more than 300 years.
The first policy was sold by the Amicable Society in 1706 to Nathaniel Carpenter, a merchant who paid a yearly sum of £6 and 14 shillings, equivalent to around £1,003 in today’s money.
Life insurance has changed very little over the years. An Amicable Society 1706 charter states it offered financial security 'for great numbers of widows and orphans, who might probably be otherwise left wholly destitute'.
Move forward to 1823 and we find it provided 'the means of indemnity against any pecuniary loss, claim or inconvenience' (Edinburgh Life Assurance prospectus, 1823).
A hundred years later and a stern solicitor could be seen asking, 'What provision will you make for your wife?', in a Norwich Union advertisement.
The man of the house was still very much seen as the breadwinner in 1935, where families were urged to think about what they would do should anything happen to "Daddy".
And this household set-up was still clearly apparent in the 1960s when another advert revealed a father pondering: 'What would you leave them? A house, or a mortgage?'
Fast forward to today and life insurance is 'a simple, affordable way to help look after your loved ones' (Aviva.co.uk website, 2015).
Although nowhere is protection insurance more beautifully described than in a 1891 Norwich Union staff magazine, where life insurance means: 'provision instead of penury, prosperity instead of pinching. It banishes the bills, so heavy at such a time, and it lifts the mortgage on the property […] a fairy in disguise'.
At Aviva we believe that every family deserves protection, and we’re building on a legacy that started hundreds of years ago.