The fund is supported by members from the ABI, Biba, Lloyd’s and the London Market Group

Insurers such as Aviva, Zurich UK, RSA and Chubb have committed to contribute to a new industry-wide support fund, designed to support individuals who have been hit the hardest by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The Covid-19 Support Fund, which is supported by members of the ABI, Biba, Lloyd’s and the London Market Group (LMG), aims to raise a total of £100m through voluntary contributions from organisations – to date, £82.5m has already been pledged by firms within the insurance and long-term savings sectors.

Firms that have already donated to the initiative include: Aviva, Zurich UK, RSA, AXA UK and XL, Allianz Insurance, Lloyd’s, Hiscox, Direct Line Group, Admiral, Pension Insurance Corporation, Rothesay Life, American International Group UK Limited, Ageas Insurance, LV= General Insurance, Phoenix Group, Chubb, Ecclesiastical, Aon, Just Group, NFU Mutual, PIB Group, Brokerbility, Canada Life, Chesnara, Sabre, Standard Life Aberdeen, Unum, Ardonagh and Esure.

Steve White, chief executive at BIBA, said: “The whole world is currently facing the sort of challenge seen only once in a generation.

“The insurance sector, in usual circumstances, is a force for good helping to rebuild lives and businesses and now, more than ever, it is vital for us to work together to provide what help we can. This initiative is a way to make this happen.”

Challenged charities

The principle aim of the fund is to provide immediate relief to the charities that are affected by Covid-19, as well as contribute to a longer-term programme supporting people, communities, and issues where there is the greatest need, including:

  • Community based charities that are under unprecedented strain.
  • Charities supporting the most vulnerable – in particular, families and children living in greatest poverty and older people in isolation.
  • Initiatives to promote wellbeing and mental health across society.

The fund operates in partnership with the Charities Aid Foundation and a network of partners, including the National Emergencies Trust, which will receive £20m of the donations.

Sir John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), said: “Getting these vital funds quickly and safely into the hands of the many charities at the heart of our communities is central to CAF’s mission and we are proud to be able to work alongside those in the insurance and long-term savings industries to make this happen. We know it will make a huge difference to many people in need of support at this time.”

Industry support

John Neal, chief executive at Lloyd’s, confirmed that the market is contributing £5m to the Covid-19 Support Fund, from its pool of money for charitable donations.

He said: “During this time, Lloyd’s has been looking at numerous ways in which we can support our local and global communities, and in particular those charities and people who are at the front line of our shared fight to protect lives and beat this virus.

“As part of Lloyd’s £15m of charitable donations, we’re pleased to support this fund with £5m and thank the ABI for driving forward this initiative to assist the tireless dedication of those who are providing essential support and care at one of the most challenging times in living memory.”

Yvonne Braun, director of policy, long-term savings and protection at the ABI, added: “Many charities have lost summer fundraising and shop income and now face huge shortfalls at a time when many people need their support more than ever given the impact of Covid-19.

“This is why the insurance and long-term savings industry is determined to help them to continue with their vital work. We have teamed up with The Charities Aid Foundation, as their expertise will ensure that this help gets to those who most need it as quickly as possible.”

The LMG concurred that there is a “real value in pooling our collective resources” through a scheme such as this.

Chief executive Clare Lebecq said: “We are aware that many firms in the market are already helping their chosen charities during these unprecedented times, but we believe there is also real value in pooling our collective resources in order to assist charities so that they can continue to provide their vital support to individuals and communities in the UK both now and in the future.”