Goodbye Norwich Union, hello Aviva: Insurance gets a makeover

01 May 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
The name Norwich Union, a British insurance institution for 211 years, is to be dropped in favour of its parent brand and worldwide name, Aviva.

Aviva announced this week that it will complete the transition to a global brand over the next two years. The merge will result in Norwich Union, Commercial Union Poland and Hibernian becoming known as Aviva.

Norwich Union was founded in 1797 in Norwich to insure houses, stock and merchandise against fire. Since then it has become a nationally recognised insurance company and Aviva has caused controversy over its intentions to phase out the name Norwich Union in exchange for its globally unified brand name.

In defense of the company's actions, Aviva chief executive Andrew Moss said: "This is an exciting time for us as we build a world class business with strong growth potential. For Aviva to continue to thrive we have to compete effectively on the world stage alongside our international peers.

"Creating a brand that is known across the globe is an important step in being recognised as a worldwide force in financial services and an important milestone in delivering our 'One Aviva, twice the value' vision." Mr Moss continued.

Despite its controversial merger, Aviva as a company is thriving according to its 2007 results. As the credit crunch takes hold, it seems Aviva has managed to profit, arguing that its international long-term savings business has offset the effects of the UK's exceptional weather conditions last summer on its general insurance businesses.

It has been an important month for insurance; just last week RBS announced its intentions to sell its insurance arm which includes Direct Line and Churchill in attempts to boost the banks balance sheet along with a rights issue.

Also, rumours are beginning to circulate about potential buyers for RBS' insurance arm; forerunners include the Bank of China and Italian insurer Generali.

©Fair Investment Company Ltd