About Aviva

What we do

There's more to a job than the results you achieve and the money you’re paid. At Aviva, we know that respect and recognition are just as important, and in our 180 year history, that’s something that has stayed central to our company’s evolution. Which is why you won't just find details of roles and careers on our site, you’ll learn about the size, scope and diversity of the Aviva business, the huge number of opportunities open to you and the level of support we’ll offer to help you achieve everything you want to.

Providing around 2.8 million customers with home, automobile, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance, we paid out 99% of claims in 2018 because we’re here to help people, businesses and communities get back on their feet when the unexpected happens. Which is why it’s important for every one of the more than 4,000 people we employ to understand what our customers want and need. We’re working to provide each customer with an exceptional Aviva experience – one that they’d be happy to recommend to friends and family. In fact, we aim to be the most recommended company in our market, and the most popular employer too.

That’s because as a company, we’re just as focused on our employees as we are our customers. As well as being rewarded for their exceptional performance, our open and inclusive culture means our people are inspired to do more and encouraged to challenge the way we do things. Together, we’re building a company to be proud of.

What we do is important. It empowers people to defy uncertainty. And the bigger we get, the more vital it is that we have a positive impact on the world we operate in. That’s why we work hard to be socially responsible and to integrate sustainability into every part of our business.

This is Aviva

Life is full of the unexpected. For every twist, turn and bump in the road, Aviva is on hand to keep people and businesses financially protected. Our property and casualty insurance products for individuals and organizations are world-class, and our passionate, professional workforce is entirely focused on delivering what our customers want. We're here to support people in the hardest times of their lives. But don't just take our word for it. Here, our customers and employees speak for themselves.

Our background

Aviva boasts a 300-year history with deep roots in Canada. These roots can be traced back to the early 19th century when a number of UK-based insurance companies operated branch offices in Canada.

In 1887, the first Canadian-based Aviva heritage company, Canada Accident Assurance Company, was established. In 1906, another Aviva heritage company, General Accident Assurance Company of Canada, was formed in Toronto. During the 20th century, more than 15 Aviva Canada predecessor companies emerged, changed their names, and combined their strengths until finally, on May 5, 2003, CGU Insurance Company of Canada changed its name to Aviva Insurance Company of Canada.

Some historical highlights.

<h3>1830's - 1850's</h3>

1830's - 1850's

In 1835, The Stanstead & Sherbrooke Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Quebec, Canada, later part of the Commercial Union Assurance Company, is established.  On May 15th, 1856, the Northern Assurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, starts life business in Canada, appointing Ryan Bros & Co as agent.  On April 2nd, 1857, the Northern begins operating in St Johns, Newfoundland. Augustus Olive Hayward, a barrister at law, is appointed as the company’s agent. On 5 June, another future Commercial Union company, the Edinburgh Life Assurance Company, opens a branch in Canada, this time in Toronto. Mr D Higgins is appointed secretary. 


On 7 June, the Northern appoints Janion and Green as agent for Victoria, British Columbia. The first entry recorded in the company’s fire policy register is for merchandise valued at £1,000 that is stored in a log building within the confines of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s fort at Victoria. The North British & Mercantile Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, appoints an agent for Montreal. In 1862-1865, North British & Mercantile now has an office at 4 & 5 Merchants’ Exchange, Montreal, under Messrs Lorn MacDougall and Thomas Davidson. Commercial Union appoints agent Morland & Watson at Montreal, under Mr. Cole. In February, Charles Cowdy is appointed medical officer for the Northern in St Johns. Commercial Union appoints Forsyth & Pemberton fire agent for Quebec.

On 13 September, the Northern appoints Isaac J Wylde as agent for Halifax, Nova Scotia. The following month, the company appoints George Styrest agent for St John, New Brunswick, based in Butchers Buildings, Princess Street.

On 20 June,1867 the Northern opens a general agency in Montreal under Taylor Bros, who already control the company’s agencies in Quebec and Ontario. The Northern also closes its life business in Victoria.



Commercial Union is responsible for the railroad system in the area of Quebec and Ontario insuring the properties of the Detroit Grand Haven and Milwaukee Railroad and the Great Western Canada Railway through their Toronto agency, George Hargraft & Son. The Manitoba Insurance Company is established by Messrs Donald Smith, Andrew Bannatyne and Sir Hugh Allan. This company is later acquired by the Scottish Alliance Insurance Company, which will become part of Commercial Union. The Edinburgh Life Assurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, closes its Canadian branch.

Commercial Union opens an agency at Halifax, Nova Scotia, under Mr B W Salter for fire and at St John, New Brunswick, for life and fire under Mr A C Fairweather, a local barrister. North British & Mercantile appoints MacDougall & Davidson general agent for Montreal, based at 72 Francois Xavier Street.


The North West Fire Insurance Company is incorporated, under the Manitoba Legislative Body Act, for the transaction of fire business with an authorised capital of $500,000. The secretary and manager is Mr G W Girdlestone. The president of the company is Duncan MacArthur, who is head of the firm of Messrs MacArthur, Boyle and Campbell.

The vice-president is Col W N Kennedy (Registrar of the County of Selkirk) and among the board of directors are many of the principal merchants of Winnipeg and Manitoba. In April, the Canadian Branch of the Norwich Union Fire Insurance Society is established in Toronto. Alexander Dixon is appointed agent while Thomas C Patteson becomes the local director.


Norwich Union Fire appoints Alexander Wilson agent for Toronto while the board of the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company, later part of Norwich Union, agreed to the appointment of agents in Canada, reporting to the company’s American branch.

In 1883, The Employers Liability Assurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, opens its first colonial agency in Canada under Mr F Stancliffe. In 1884, the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company is now operating in Canada under the management of Mr M Bennett Jr. According to a contemporary local insurance magazine, Mr Bennett “seems to be indefatigable in the interests of his Companies.”



The City of London Marine Insurance Corporation, later part of Commercial Union, appoints Gault & Hubbard as agent for Montreal, based at 104 St Francois Xavier Street. They, in turn, appoint sub agents in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Kingston and Waterloo. 



The Canada Accident and Fire Assurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, is established. The Northern opens its first Canadian branch office in Montreal and Norwich Union Fire appoints agents in Newfoundland.



In January, Commercial Union signs a lease on offices in Montreal. The company has now outstripped almost every other fire office in Canada.  Also operating in Canada is the Union Assurance Company, later part of Commercial Union. 



By this date, Scottish Union and National also boasts agencies throughout Canada. On 9 July, a fire at St John, Newfoundland, destroys half the city at a cost of millions of dollars. Commercial Union pays out claims worth £52,000. Palatine Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, is now operating in Newfoundland. 



The Employers Liability Assurance Company is granted a licence to undertake employers’ liability business in addition to the fidelity and general accident business it had been undertaking in Canada up to this point. 



The South British Insurance Company, later part of General Accident, is now represented by R P Rithet & Co in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. John B Laidlaw, previously chief clerk for Norwich Union Fire in Canada, is appointed the company’s Canadian manager. 



The Norwich Union Life Insurance Company is now represented in Ontario by James Sargant.

<h3>1900 - 1908</h3>

1900 - 1908

Commercial Union acquires Palatine Assurance and, with it, the Canada Accident & Fire Insurance Company. Commercial Union also pays out claims of £13,000 after a large fire in Ottawa, which had started in the French town of Hull.

Ocean Accident and Guarantee Corporation Ltd, later part of Commercial Union, now has a branch in Canada while the Railway Passengers Assurance Co, which will also become part of Commercial Union, appoints Mr F H Russell as an agent.

The Commercial Union visiting manager reports that “prospects of business in Canada are more hopeful and the conditions more favourable than they have been for many years.” The company is now operating in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Montreal; the Winnipeg branch has opened 40 agencies in two years. The Canadian Casualty & Boiler Company, later part of General Accident, is established.

General Accident purchases the Canadian Casualty & Boiler Company. In August, Norwich Union Fire opens new offices in Toronto. The Yorkshire is now operating in Montreal at 55, St Francois Xavier Street and in Newfoundland through the agents, Bishop and Monroe.

<h3>1911 - 1924</h3>

1911 - 1924

L’Abeille Compagnies d'Assurances, later part of Commercial Union, opens a branch in Canada. Employers Liability Assurance begins to transact motor business in Canada.

Commercial Union opens a branch in Vancouver. Railway Passengers Assurance, is operating a branch in Canada by this date.
The Canada Security Assurance Company is first listed as a Canadian subsidiary of Norwich Union Fire.

The Northern is ranked seventh among British offices in Canada. Royal Scottish Insurance of Glasgow, later part of Commercial Union, starts operating in Canada and General Accident establishes the Scottish Canadian Assurance Corporation to underwrite fire and hail insurance in Canada.
The British General Insurance Company, later part of Commercial Union, is operating in Canada under the management of Mr T F Dobbin. General Accident begins to undertake plate glass insurance in Canada. Commercial Union appoints William Hargraft as agent for Toronto to replace his father, who had represented the company in Toronto since 1900.

On 7 February, 1924 British General applies for a license to transact motor business in Canada.

1927 - 1929

The Pilot Insurance Company, later part of General Accident, is established. Ocean Accident now has an office in Toronto under Mr J A Mingay and has paid out $8,800,000 on claims in Canada since 1902. British European, later part of Commercial Union, has a Canadian Branch and local managers in Winnipeg and Vancouver

American Central, later part of Commercial Union, is now operating in Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Western Ontario while the California Insurance Company, which will also become part of Commercial Union, is operating in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The Yorkshire now has agencies in Calgary, Halifax, Regina, St John, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and St Johns, Newfoundland, operating from a head office at 210 St James Street, Montreal. General Accident now has branches in Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver.

<h3>1945 - 1949</h3>

1945 - 1949

General Accident opens a new branch in Edmonton, Alberta.

Norwich Union Life establishes a branch in Canada and Scottish Union and National now has branches in Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Truro, Montreal, Edmonton and Toronto.

The General Accident Ottawa service office is elevated to branch status. The Yorkshire in Canada is now represented by Mr C G Angas in Montreal and Mr C Wapshott at 67 Younge Street, Toronto.

1950 - 1959

General Accident in Canada is under the management of Douglas B Hall, son of the original Canadian manager.

General Accident opens a sub office in Hamilton, along with a branch in Quebec City and a new agency in Newfoundland.

Scottish Union and National is operating in Canada at 60 Younge Street, Toronto, under Ronald F Swaine, with branches at Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

<h3>1960 - 1977</h3>

1960 - 1977

The Northern now has branches in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver, with service offices at Quebec City, Hamilton and Edmonton.
The Yorkshire establishes the Canadian Pioneer Insurance Company as a subsidiary company in Montreal.
General Accident opens a branch in Ontario.

Norwich Union Fire and its subsidiaries cease writing fire, accident and motor business in Canada. The business is acquired by General Accident. An inspector at the London, Ontario branch of General Accident requests a police permit to carry a gun when confronting a claimant who has buried a ‘stolen’ truck with a bulldozer.

In April, 1977 General Accident opens a full branch in Hamilton at 1 King Street West, Commerce Place.

<h3>1983 - 1989</h3>

1983 - 1989

The Commercial Union Life Assurance Company of Canada is established.

General Accident now has branches in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, London, Hamilton, Toronto Central, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, St. John and Halifax. The company head office is situated at Exchange Tower 2, First Canadian Place, Toronto.

General Accident acquires the Pilot Insurance Company of Ontario, Canada, from Mr. Saul Steinburg’s Reliance Insurance Company in Philadelphia. The company writes personal and small commercial lines business and is purchased for C$200 million.

The Canada Accident and Fire Assurance Company merges with Commercial Union of Canada and the Stanstead & Sherbrooke Insurance Company. The Canadian General Assurance Company merges with General Accident of Canada.

<h3>1990 - 2003</h3>

1990 - 2003

General Accident acquires the general insurance business of Prudential Corporation in Canada for C$165 million. As a result, General Accident becomes the biggest non-government controlled property and casualty insurer in Canada with a market share of 8%. The new company is known as the General Accident Indemnity Company.

In January, the General Accident Indemnity Company merges with the Prudasco Assurance Company and, in December, is amalgamated with General Accident Assurance Company of Canada.

General Accident acquires the Canadian General Insurance Group and Norwich Union establishes the Norwich Union Life Insurance Company of Canada.

Norwich Union Fire withdraws from Canada.

The General Accident Insurance Company of Canada changes its name to the CGU Insurance Company of Canada. Commercial Union Assurance of Canada merges with the CGU Insurance Company of Canada, along with the Canada General Insurance Group.

On 5 May, 2003 the CGU Insurance Company of Canada changes its name to Aviva Insurance of Canada.

Our values

Our values sit at the heart of our business. They’re there to guide us in everything we do – from performing in our day-to-day roles to making important business-wide decisions. Which is why we look for the kind of people who can really embrace our values. People ready to help free customers from uncertainty, and shape a better place to work while they’re at it.

Care more

At Aviva we care like crazy about our customers, each other and the communities we operate in. We look at every issue from the customer’s point of view and actively seek out and address what is wrong – treating the company’s money like our own in order to find the best solution.

Kill complexity

At Aviva we are obsessed with making things simpler for our customers and for each other. Our employees are plain dealing and manage complexity so our customers don’t have to. And, by putting the customer front of mind from start to finish, they make the whole process a breeze.

Never rest

At Aviva we are driven every single day to be edgy, think bigger and do better for our customers and each other. We think creatively, make bold decisions and challenge the status quo. And as well as celebrating our successes, we learn from our mistakes – working together through obstacles to reach our desired result.

Create legacy

At Aviva we strive to create a future for our customers and each other, which is every bit as bright and sustainable as others created before us. We invite every one of our people to invest in the Aviva community, make their own impact and leave things better than they found them. To make decisions they’ll be as proud of in 20 years’ time as they are today.

Read our Modern Slavery Act statement here.

We believe that being a good Canadian business means being a good citizen, too.

As one of the country’s largest insurers, we take pride in being there for our customers in their time of need – and we’re equally proud of the support we deliver to the communities where we live and work.

We believe in building strong, safe and resilient communities. Our corporate responsibility approach strives to empower our employees, customers, brokers, investors and other stakeholders to take action in their local communities to create positive change, with our support.

Find out more about our approach at https://www.aviva.ca/en/about-aviva/corporate-responsibility/

Our working environment


What makes us different is that, we work hard to recognize the individual needs of every one of our customers. And with our sights set on becoming the most recommended employer in our market, we take that same approach with our own people.

We recognize the strength that comes from working with colleagues from a whole host of different backgrounds; colleagues with different experiences and fresh perspectives. And it's just as important to us to make sure that every individual we employ is given the support, encouragement and development opportunities they need to make the most of their unique talents. By putting more emphasis on cultural diversity, we’re creating a more inclusive and rewarding working environment. After all, thriving people make for a thriving business.