Insurance giant dives back 70 years into the archives to mark platinum jubilee


An insurance giant has delved into 70 years of its archives to learn more about everyday life at the time, as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations unfold.

Aviva’s archives reflect the evolution of homes and hobbies over the decades.

Seventy years ago, technical coverage available included “wireless” (radio) and television installation insurance for households with such items, Aviva said. Coverage extended to accidental death or injury caused by these devices to anyone outside the household.

Electric vehicles, cell phones, laptops and e-bikes are among the technology items Aviva insures today.

National celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee take place over a special extended bank holiday weekend from June 2-5.

Anna Stone, group archivist for Aviva, said: “Our documents from 1952 reveal a world where television sets were a luxury and therefore had their own insurance; cattle and horses were more common on British roads and it was not uncommon to take a typewriter on holiday.

With regard to home insurance, Aviva found that comprehensive home insurance offered protection against events still visible today, such as fires, burglaries and storms – although some of the policy wordings of 1952 fell out of favor, including coverage for “thunderbolt”, “theft” and “storm”.

Flood damage was excluded, although nowadays Aviva covers it, using risk mapping technology to assess the likelihood of flooding.

Property was covered against damage caused by motor vehicles, as it is today, although impacts from road vehicles were grouped together with damage caused by horses and livestock.

Aviva’s historic brand, Norwich Union, offered “private home insurance” that covered a customer’s belongings in much the same way as modern home contents insurance.

A checklist allowed customers to keep track of their belongings and included popular possessions of the day, including a piano, radio, television, food supplies, linoleum, servants’ items, jewelry and “miscellaneous items”.

Customers were also offered an optional glass cover addition, to include glass in greenhouses, transoms, conservatories, verandas and outbuildings.

The policy also covered the accidents of servants, as well as their clothing and personal effects.

Aviva’s estate companies also offered a number of specialist insurance policies for very specific types of cover.

These included golf insurance, coverage for brass and military bands, and insurance for glass storefronts.

Golf insurance allowed people to claim loss or damage not exceeding £50 (equivalent to around £1,531 today) for golf clubs and bags.

It also provided cover for clubs broken in practice, and cover for accidental injury or death of the insured person on a golf course.

Band insurance covered instruments, uniforms, music, music stands, cups and trophies.

As for auto insurance, a policy offered in 1952 by General Accident, now part of Aviva, covered many of the perils similar to those seen today.

A separate section also specified that the customer would be covered for loss or damage to “carpets, coats, luggage, medical or surgical instruments by accident or by fire, theft or theft”.

Exclusions from the policy included samples, tools and books for travellers.

A separate motor policy offered by Road Transport and General – another Aviva heritage company – covered against loss or damage due to frost, riots and civil disturbance.

While today’s Aviva travel insurance offers some protection against Covid-19 risks, as well as cancellation and medical cover, in 1952 traveler’s insurance was more accident-focused. personal and baggage.

A policy offered coverage for those taking advantage of “camps, tours and excursions at home and abroad”.

Baggage was covered against loss or damage caused by ‘pilferage’ and ‘sea water’ as well as against fire, theft, loss and ‘other accident or misfortune’.

There were exclusions for trinkets, binoculars and “valuable lace”, while a deductible was applied for those who went on holiday with their china, glass, typewriters and musical instruments.


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