Aviva Equity Release Review Updated 2022

Are You Considering Aviva Equity Release?
Contributors: Nicola Date, Katherine Read. Edited by Rachel Wait & Reviewed by Francis Hui
Do You Want to Release Equity With Aviva? Learn About the Pros, Cons, Fees, Interest Rates & Read Client Reviews. Find Out Here if Aviva Is the Best for You.

It’s no surprise that aviva equity release is gaining such momentum amongst the over 50s in the UK.

A total of £4.3bn was released in equity in 2021. That’s a whopping £12m every single day! 

It’s a means of getting your hands on tax-free cash to realise your home renovation,  international travel or any other financial dreams you might have. 

Since 1998 Aviva has helped over 250,000 clients release more than £8bn in wealth from their properties. 

Could you be its next client? 

As experts in our field, we discuss the following in this article:

    With over 600 plans available on the equity release market, it’s hard to know which one will work for you. 

    Thanks to our professional research team, we’ve comprehensively reviewed Aviva, one of the top equity release providers in the UK.

    Will Aviva be your perfect equity release match? 

    Before You Start Reading….

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    Who’s Aviva?

    Aviva is the largest general insurer and one of the UK’s top pension and mortgage providers. 

    For over 320 years, Aviva has been helping its clients prepare for the unexpected and plan for their futures.   

    With headquarters in London, it serves about 18 million clients across its core markets of the UK, Ireland and Canada. 

    To ensure a better future for everyone, Aviva has committed to becoming a net-zero carbon emissions company by 2040 and is helping its clients become greener through ethical investing1

    Why Consider Aviva?

    Consider Aviva if you seek honest, comprehensive and flexible equity release services. 

    As one of the most established equity release companies in the UK, Aviva has eased the financial burdens of over 250,000 retirees since 1998.

    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)2 and the Equity Release Council (ERC)3 regulate its lifetime mortgages. 

    Regulation by the FCA ensures you aren’t deceived or misled by any financial services provider. The ERC ensures a no negative equity guarantee, independent legal advice, lifetime occupancy of your home, and fixed or capped interest rates.

    What Services Does Aviva Offer?

    The services that Aviva offers include insurance, pensions, investments and equity release.

    Here’s a complete list of what it offers:

    Insurance

    • Motor Insurance
    • Life insurance
    • Home insurance

    Investments

    • Aviva stocks & shares
    • Aviva Pension
    • Aviva Investment Account
    • Aviva Save
    • Welthify

    Retirement

    • Pension
    • Pension Annuity
    • Income Drawdowns
    • Equity Release
    • Lifetime Care

    Health

    • Health insurance
    • Diagnostics insurance

    Does Aviva Offer Equity Release? 

    Yes, Aviva offers equity release in the form of a lifetime mortgage

    At 55 or older, you can use its plans to access some of the wealth locked up in your home. 

    You can access the money either as a lump sum or in smaller instalments, without the need to sell your house.

    The amount of money you can release will depend mainly on your age, lifestyle, health and property value. 

    What Equity Release Schemes Does Aviva Offer?

    The equity release scheme that Aviva offers is the Aviva Lifestyle Flexible Scheme. 

    As the name suggests, this option gives you some flexibility regarding how you release your cash. 

    You’ll have the option to borrow a one-time lump sum of up to £15,000 or to receive the initial sum and establish a cash reserve to draw money from in the future, as and when you require it.

    By releasing money in smaller instalments, you’ll only be liable to pay interest on the funds withdrawn and not on the money in your reserve. 

    This is a great way to avoid the interest from accruing over time and becoming unmanageable.

    What Are the Features of Aviva’s Lifetime Mortgage?

    Aviva’s lifetime mortgage features include a no negative guarantee, the option of inheritance protection and voluntary partial repayments. 

    Let’s dive into these a bit more.

    No Negative Equity Guarantee 

    Membership with the ERC dictates that each plan sold must include a no negative equity guarantee. 

    The guarantee ensures that you or your estate will never be responsible for paying more than the amount your property sells for, as long as it’s sold for a reasonable amount.

    Inheritance Protection Guarantee

    Lifetime mortgages reduce the amount of inheritance you can leave behind. In some cases, they can eat up your entire planned inheritance.

    An inheritance protection guarantee enables you to allocate a percentage of your home’s value to your inheritance.  

    Voluntary Partial Repayments 

    Lifetime mortgages don’t require any repayments until the end of the loan term – this is when you move into permanent care or pass away.

    However, Aviva allows you to make voluntary partial repayments up to a maximum of 10% of the total loan per year. 

    You’ll be able to make as many repayments as you wish, but each instalment must be a minimum of £50. 

    Downsizing Protection 

    If you decide to move home, you can apply to transfer your plan to the new property, provided Aviva finds it to be a suitable replacement that meets their lending criteria. 

    If based on its criteria, the new property isn’t suitable, you’ll be forced to repay your existing mortgage. 

    The downsizing protection eliminates any early repayment fees that would otherwise be chargeable. 

    What Are Aviva’s Qualification Criteria?

    Aviva’s qualification criteria are based on your age, property value and property type.

    To qualify for an Aviva lifetime mortgage, you need to meet these minimum requirements:

    • The youngest borrower must be 55 or older.
    • You must own property in the UK. 
    • Your property must be worth at least £75,000.
    • The property you borrow against must be your permanent residence.
    • Your property cannot be unoccupied for more than six months at a time.
    • Have a minimum mortgage left or no mortgage at all. 

    What Are Aviva’s Equity Release Interest Rates?

    Aviva’s equity release interest rates fall between 4.31% and 4.7%. 

    Your age, health and lifestyle determine the final interest rate you’ll qualify for. 

    What Fees Does Aviva Charge?

    The fees that Aviva charges during the initial borrowing stage include legal fees, valuation fees and arrangement fees. 

    Arrangement Fee 

    Covers the cost of setting up your lifetime mortgage plan and is added to your total loan. 

    Valuation Fee

    Aviva will arrange for your property to be independently valued. 

    No fee will be charged for properties valued at £5million or less.

    Re-Inspection Fee

    A £60 re-inspection fee is levied if your property has to be inspected again.

    Legal Fees

    You’ll be responsible for appointing a legal adviser to act on your behalf. 

    Their fees will be for your account.

    Additional fees may be imposed in the following cases:

    • Additional borrowing.
    • Change of ownership.
    • Moving property.
    • Remote valuations.
    • Repaying your whole mortgage early.

    Does Aviva Have an Equity Release Calculator?

    Yes, Aviva has an equity release calculator1 that can help you determine the potential amount of wealth you could release from your property. 

    To give you an approximate indication, you’ll be required to enter the following information:

    • Your age.
    • The type of property you own.
    • The approximate value of your property.

    For an unbiased comparison, why not try our equity release calculator?

    Before You Start Reading….

    Let’s See How Much You Can Release 👇

     

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    What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Aviva?

    The advantage of using Aviva as your provider is that you’ll be getting award-winning service and products from a company that has been in business for over 320 years. 

    The disadvantage of using Aviva, as with any lender, is that your inheritance will be affected, and you may even disqualify yourself from earning state benefits. 

    Here’s some more information on the pros and cons to help you determine if Aviva is right for you. 

    Aviva’s Pros

    The pros of Aviva’s equity release include FCA membership, flexible repayment options, no negative equity guarantee and more. 

    See below:

    • Multiple award-winning equity release provider
    • Member of the Equity Release Council. 
    • Regulated by the FCA.
    • Fixed or capped interest rates.
    • No negative equity guarantee. 
    • Flexible repayment options. 
    • Possibility of a drawdown facility. 
    • Option of adding inheritance protection. 

    Aviva’s Cons

    The cons of Aviva’s equity release plans include a minimum equity requirement, possible impact on means-tested benefits and compound interest. 

    See below:

    • A minimum equity of £15,000 is applied.
    • You could impact your eligibility for state benefits and grants.
    • Your inheritance will be reduced. 
    • Compound interest can mount up quickly.

    How Did We Review Aviva?

    We reviewed Aviva by considering all of its data on the products it offers so that we can give you the most credible information about it.

    Aviva Reviews

    Aviva’s online reviews are mostly positive, with many clients raving about the efficiency and prices. 

    Read more reviews below:

    • Trust Pilot – 4.6 out of 5 based on 22,293 reviews.
    • Reviews.io – 2.1 out of 5 based on 321 reviews.
    • Feefo – 4.5 out of 5 based on 2,090 reviews. 

    Aviva Complaints

    Aviva complaints can be made through your Aviva team member or broker, directly on its website or the Financial Ombudsman Service.

    If you choose to complete the online complaints form, you’ll be required to provide the following information:

    • Personal details.
    • Policy details.
    • Details of your complaint.
    • Required outcome. 

    Upon receipt of the above, the Aviva team will:

    • Confirm receipt of your complaint.
    • Assign a complaints expert to review your case.
    • Carry out an impartial investigation.
    • Keep you up to date.
    • Respond in writing within 8 weeks.

    If the outcome doesn’t suit you, you can escalate your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service by calling 0800 023 4567.

    Aviva Jobs

    Aviva job openings can be viewed on its careers page.

    Once on the page, you can filter the available jobs by location and by the ‘team’ you’d like to join. 

    The Aviva teams include the following:

    • Actuary & Pricing
    • Customer Service
    • Customer & Marketing
    • Digital & Customer Data
    • Finance
    • HR
    • IT 
    • Legal
    • Professional Services
    • Risk
    • Sales & Distribution
    • Technology
    • Underwriting
    • Students & Graduates
    • Apprentices
    • Technology Apprenticeships

    Aviva’s FCA Details

    Trading Names

    • Aviva Equity Release UK Limited
    • Norwich Union Equity Release Limited

    FCA Permitted Services

    • Investments
    • Consumer credit
    • Mortgages & home finance
    • Other activities

    Regulators

    • Financial Services Authority Now the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) 
    • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) 

    Registration Numbers

    • FCA Ref Number: 310433
    • FCA Reg Number: 03286484

    FCA & Companies House Link

    Aviva Contact Number

    Aviva’s contact number for new equity release enquiries is:

    0808 239 0356

    Aviva is open: 

    • Monday – Friday: 9:00am 8:00pm
    • Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
    • Sunday and Bank Holidays: Closed

    Common Questions

    Where's Aviva Located?

    Is Aviva A Member of the Equity Release Council?

    Who Owns Aviva?

    What's an Aviva Lifetime Mortgage?

    Is Aviva Equity Release Safe?

    Does Aviva Do Equity Release?

    In Conclusion

    Aviva Equity Release has been around for hundreds of years and has a proven track record in the world of equity release. 

    Its membership with the ERC and FCA protects you against misinformation and fraud.  

    Before choosing a provider it’s vital that you consult with an equity release adviser with whole market experience. 

    Their knowledge and experience can determine which plans and providers are most appropriate for your unique circumstances and financial objectives.

    Before You Go…

    Use the FREE Calculator Below 👇

     

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    Editorial Note: This content has been independently collected by the EveryInvestor team and is offered on a non-advised basis. EveryInvestor may earn a commission on sales made from partner links on this page, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions or evaluations. Learn more about our editorial guidelines.