Aviva want you to know their car insurance is more expensive

6 July 2009

Aviva, better known as Norwich Union, are keen to promote the hell out of themselves after a miserable re-branding exercise starring a string of Hollywood actors that customers couldn't give three dumps about. So they've gone to town on trumpeting their low-price insurance as a point of difference, reckoning if they can save you a few bob, you'll stick business their way whatever they're called:

The advertising banner above is splashed across the front page of Aviva's car insurance website, and every few seconds the quote on the right-hand side (which shows a price comparison between Aviva and other named insurance providers) changes to prove that Aviva really does provide a cheaper deal. Except as long-time Bitterwallet reader Amanda Hugginkiss points out, it does nothing of the sort.

We've just made a note of the examples that Aviva give, and at least two out of every three are more expensive than one or more of the named competitors:

At least Aviva are good enough to provide the names of the cheaper insurance providers, so you don't have far to look. Expect to see this tweaked in the next day so it works properly. Or not, perhaps.

TOPICS:   Insurance   Technology


  • Joe S.
    FAIL. That's just great :)
  • Cam
    But haven't aviva withdrawn from price comparision sites such as moneysupermarket and instead created their own mini price comparision site? This continues their campagin whereby they will give you their competitors quotes even if they are cheaper. Thus, its not a cock up as might be suggested above. I'm not sure if you guys write with a biased agenda, or just don't research what you write about?
  • Matthew T.
    To be fair to Aviva (and yes, I do work for them, but have nothing to do with this), they have advertised on TV before that they will tell you their competitors prices, even if they're cheaper. The logic behind this is that Aviva is selling you a service as well as the insurance, and that their service is better. I have no idea how Aviva car insurance customer service works, however.
  • MR C.
    Matthew Taylor? Not THE Matthew Taylor, Lib Dem MP? If so, Can I ask why you keep maxing out your 2nd home allowance AND Travel expenses year after year? Have you bought Windsor Castle & 14 Tanks? How much was the Insurance for those beauties?
  • Joff
    In my experience, most people would move heaven and earth to get a cheaper premium and don't really give a stuff about any service offered. Obviously this all goes to pot when a claim is put through and the underwriters deny all knowledge of ever offering to insure the car you've just wrapped around a tree.
  • Mr S.
    I guess the strategy must be that they're so honest upfront that people will want to deal with them. Then when after they ask for their own quote Aviva tells them they're the cheapest, they'll believe them.
  • Dank
    No, their strategy is to make money through referrals. If they're not the cheapest, then Job Bloggs will go through to the other insurers and Aviva will make money that way by referring the business. And if they are cheaper, they'll cash in as normal. Win-win pretty much.
  • Clown
    Dank has it spot on,as an affiliate if you get a click through and sale you'll net £60ish.So Aviva are in a win win so I doubt this will get taken done because it's probably actually a very clever bit of advertising. I dare say in some cases they will make more through the click through sale than on their own sales(high no claims,micra kinda driver the £60 commission would be very close the the premium). I think it's a great move. Btw I am an affiliate for car insurance for AA,aviva etc and £60 ish is your average commission per sale so it's a smart cookie who made this advertising campaign because you're gonna click on the cheaper quote. I bet they cloak their affilate link well though!
  • Rob L.
    I think they are going for the honesty angle here, as they must be aware they're not top all of the time, because it's so infrequent. As for becoming a mini-comparison site / earning referral income - that doesn't seem to be the case as they're not providing a tracked click-through or phone number to the competitor, so there'd be no way of tracking the business.
  • Rob L.
    Annoyingly, when I click "Get a Quote", I get a customer service form popping up asking me "why you decided not to proceed through to seeing a quote" - I'm trying to get a quote at this point, muppets.
  • adr0ck
    Aviva have told me many times on the phone that they have nothing to do with nor have they ever had anything to do with Norwich Union
  • Andrew M.
    Adr0ck, yes thats true. Aviva are a well known bus operator.
  • Jack
    I noticed this the other day - about one in 5 were in the top 2!!! lol
  • idiot e.
    aviva is a bus operator? try Arriva... or arrives in italian which i always found quite amusing. Another idiot eaten.
  • Nick
    There is a 404 error currently on their website, perhaps they are trying to fix things lol.
  • ctuk
    @ Matthew Taylor do I know you ?
  • stefor
    How do these people get 9 years no claims bonus? I've been driving since I was 17 (25 years), never had an accident, but when I go to an insurance company they always say they only do a Max 5 Years!! Crap I could have had 5 major accidents in the 25 years of driving and still have the same discount as now!
  • Tom
  • Paul S.
    Folks, it's a simple marketing proposition - "Looking for cheaper car insurance?" - followed by a list of quotes that prove you won't find it at Aviva. None of the names of competitors are links, so there's no affiliate revenue scheme at work. Nothing on that landing page says anything about Aviva costing more because they provide better service, and nor does it explain a previous or current campaign about increased honesty and transparency. The marketing asks a question on behalf of the client and fails to answer it in a way that benefits the client. That's bad marketing, period. So Cam and others, if you'd like to explain why you believe this is an example of first class marketing or why we might be writing with an agenda, go for it.
  • John
    Aviva or NU are rubbish for customer service and damn expensive, stay away, total idiot.
  • Flipper
    Aviva quoted my stepdaughter a price of 51pounds per month but when they sent her documents through they had all her details wrong,she is 19 years old & they had her as having held a full licence for 5 years (hmm) they had her mothers age wrong by 25 years & many other incorrect details. She rang to correct them & was told that in that case she would have to pay an extra 15 pounds per month! I spoke to them & they promised to call us within 7 days after having listened to her original call & quote, if she gave them the correct details on the original call they would honour that quote, if she was at fault (she wasn't I was sat with her) they would uphold the new extortionate price. 15 days on & no call, rang them today to be told they haven't listened to the tape of the call yet. They are hoping we'll pay their new price I imagine,they are wrong. It smells of a scam to me. Should've known better, after all why change a good British name to Aviva? Says it all doesn't it? Also is it just my family or does anyone else struggle to understand their call centre operatives? Meanwhile we wait..................
  • "car G.
    Good article. I thought to let you know that ur site looks a bit messed up in the Amaya 11.0 web browser.
  • Memo B.
    [...] on your own site, it doesn’t always work in your favour. Aviva tried it over the summer with less than stellar results – now it’s the turn of the RAC. No doubt the customer’s perception of the RAC [...]
  • Bob
    Maybe Aviva should also compare what is costs to cancel a policy, Aviva.....they're having a laugh!
  • cheapest r.
    I would like to fly into Las Vegas, rent a car, drive it to Denver, and then fly out of Denver. With a lot of car rental places, you have to return the car to the same place you rented it, but are there some car rental companies that will let you rent it from Point A and return it to Point B?
  • carins u.
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  • Philip
    I found them absolutely appalling. I dealt with an Indian call centre on several occasions where the customer service was absolutely abysmal. This is a clear case of a once good company going downhill and one where after many years I would never deal with them agian.
  • B3cx
    Can not believe the arguments Aviva put up in order to get out of an insurance claim! I am contacting the ombudsman as we speak. Aviva can't be bothered to speak to me - they simply hang up after I have waited for 15 minutes etc. On the two occasions I have got through I have asked who I am being transferred to just before I am put on hold and I am told "no one - I am just reading your notes" only to find I have been put through to a different department - and in one case a different company! AARRGGggggg...will be changing my car insurance whatever the cost when this mess is sorted out. Talk about not doing what you say you will and you have got Aviva spot on in my opinion. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone - they are the insurance equivalent of Ryanair.
  • internet t.
    hmmm.. Fascinating stuff.. Not very sure I agree though
  • Marco
    Aviva are on every comparison website now despite their advert by Paul Whitehouse in various disguises saying they are not. Now calling themselves 'Quotemehappy' and are also the main insurer of 'RAC Insurance' and at least a few others on the cheapest insurer list.
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