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Protecting UK Households from a Challenging Risk Environment: Aviva's Call for Adaptation and Collaboration

In a world where unforeseen challenges can arise at any moment, the value of preventive measures cannot be underestimated. Aviva, a leading name in the insurance industry, is at the forefront of championing proactive insurance solutions as a means to safeguard UK households from a risk-prone environment. Recent discussions in parliament, including a roundtable hosted by Aviva General Insurance CEO Adam Winslow and Emma Hardy MP, shed light on the pivotal role that planning reforms can play in enhancing flood resilience and promoting sustainable building practices. 

Hannah Davidson, the senior underwriting manager at Aviva, emphasised the importance of adaptive strategies in reducing the risk profile of UK homeowners. She pointed out that the introduction of the Consumer Duty and upcoming changes to the National Planning Policy Framework offer insurers an opportunity to share insights on existing and emerging risks affecting customers. Fire, floods, subsidence, extreme heat, and storms are some of the risks facing consumers today, but a sense of complacency among individuals remains a significant obstacle that needs to be addressed urgently. 

Adaptation emerges as a key solution, not only in response to climate change but also in terms of raising awareness about these risks. Davidson stressed that the prevailing attitude of "it won't happen to me" must be challenged. While people might observe natural disasters in far-off places, they fail to recognize that climate change is a global issue, and its effects are not confined to specific regions. 

The time for action is now, and Aviva is committed to educating its customers about the risks they face and how to mitigate them effectively. Encouraging customers to value and embrace adaptive measures is crucial. Aviva's participation in Flood Re's Build Back Better initiative serves as a practical example of their commitment to this cause. Additionally, Aviva's Building Future Communities report urges building homes and commercial structures with climate resilience in mind, advocating against construction in present or future floodplains but incorporating resilience measures when unavoidable. 

To achieve meaningful progress, collaboration among insurers, government, and developers is paramount. It requires driving the government to implement and follow through with planning reforms and urging property developers to act responsibly. Insurers, on their part, must provide the necessary financial security to support these initiatives. 

The public also plays a vital role in this collective effort by expressing their concerns and adopting resilience measures to reduce individual risk profiles. Aviva continually explores innovative ways to educate customers about risk and empower them to take proactive measures. 

Davidson emphasised that insurers are there to provide support, but they cannot replace sentimental items or fully compensate for the disruption caused during the rebuilding process. The psychological and emotional impact of significant claims events can be overwhelming, and it is essential to avert such situations through preventive measures. 

Part of the education needed to combat risk complacency involves highlighting that insurers are not just claim payers; they genuinely aim to build resilience among their insured clients. While there are financial incentives to well-implemented resilience measures, the ultimate goal is to protect and support consumers.

Looking ahead, Aviva sees engagement as the key to success. The company, along with the broader industry, intends to foster awareness of insurance and shared responsibilities. By collaborating with the public, raising awareness, and promoting proactive approaches, Aviva aims to create a safer and more resilient environment for all. 

In conclusion, Aviva's commitment to protecting UK households from a challenging risk environment underscores the importance of adaptation, collaboration, and engagement. As society faces ever-evolving risks, Aviva advocates for a proactive approach that emphasizes prevention over correction. By working together and raising awareness, we can build a safer and more secure future for everyone. 

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