Insurance giant Aviva has been marking the anniversary of the Great Fire of London this week – including its look at the quirkiest fire claims in history
– but now it has placed one eye on the future.
The damage of the Great Fire was huge – the equivalent of £37 billion in today’s money with rebuilding St Paul’s Cathedral alone likely to cost around £600 million. However, the event saw fire insurance offered to Londoners for the first time and effectively kick-started the industry which now boasts 300,000 jobs in the UK, manages investments of £1.9 trillion and contributes around £12 billion in taxes.
Now, in a blog written for City AM, Adrian Montague, chairman of Aviva outlined how London needs to maintain its presence as the capital of insurance.
He talked about how insurance is now able to help people get back on their feet as soon as possible and how it can provide businesses with the confidence they need to grow and create jobs. Indeed a huge part of insurers’ business is also to help people save for their future.
He describes insurance as the “fuel in the tank of UK business” and highlights the good that insurance does for the UK at large. Now he wants that to be supported further by the Government and regulators.
“We also invest in the UK’s infrastructure – the roads, railways, hospitals and other amenities – that are vital to help us grow the economy and support our communities,” he wrote at City AM. “We want to get a good return on our investments and we want society to get what we might call a social return – better and more efficient public services and a stronger more stable society.
“We’d like to invest more – but we can only do that if the government and regulators put the right incentives in place. That’s work in progress.”
He emphasises how Aviva itself was started in 1696 with a plaque showing an image of a handshake – one of trust and support. He states that needs to be true of the service provided today – and indeed for the next 300 years.
“I accidentally threw my teeth into the fire”: Aviva unearths quirkiest historical fire claims