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Discovery to introduce Vitality to Japan

Press Release   •   Jul 21, 2016 08:21 GMT

Announcement of new shared value insurance partnership with Sumitomo Life Insurance Co and SoftBank Corporation

21 July 2016 – Discovery Limited today announced a strategic partnership with Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. (Sumitomo Life) and SoftBank Corporation (SoftBank) that will see shared value insurance introduced to the Japanese life insurance market through the joint development and introduction of insurance products incorporated with Vitality, Discovery’s globally recognised wellness programme. In addition, the partnership will focus on the joint development of a platform for collection of health related data and wellness activities by leveraging the digital partnership between Sumitomo Life and SoftBank.

Adrian Gore, Discovery Limited’s Chief Executive commented, “Discovery is proud to be partnering with Sumitomo Life and Softbank to introduce Vitality to the Japanese market. Sumitomo Life is an excellent partner for Discovery. Their rich experience and excellent track record in the Japanese life insurance market, combined with SoftBank’s cutting-edge and sophisticated technological and digital capabilities, supported by Discovery’s IP, will transform the market, create social value, and achieve business growth.”

Vitality is a world-class behavioural wellness solution that helps policyholders become healthier by giving them the tools, knowledge, access, and incentives to improve their health. The programme is based on sound clinical research and behavioural economics, and focuses on tackling key areas shown to stem the rise of NCDs viz. early detection and health screening, and behaviour modification. Vitality’s shared value approach is based on incentivising policyholders to manage their wellness - Vitality is integrated into insurance product offerings, leveraging insights from behavioural economics in an immediate rewards system that drives positive behaviour change over the long term. The change in behaviour results in improved profitability for the insurer which in turn is used to fund the incentives that encourage behaviour change – thus creating a virtuous cycle. The impact from a clinical and actuarial perspective is significant. In this way, the model continues to drive shared value: it delivers better health and value for clients, superior actuarial dynamics for the insurer, and a healthier society at large.

Based on the concept of creating shared value between clients, society, companies and their employees, the purpose of the partnership is to contribute to improving the health and healthy life expectancy of clients in Japan. This will be achieved by encouraging them to engage in ongoing health-enhancing activities through Discovery’s global Vitality model leveraging incentives and rewards, including access to a unique programme that brings Vitality together with Apple’s groundbreaking health and fitness companion, Apple Watch, to drive down insurance costs while promoting physical activity and overall better health. Product development will start immediately, pending approval from the relevant authorities.

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About Discovery Limited

Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment products and wellness markets. Founded in 1992, Discovery was guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. Underpinning this core purpose is the belief that through innovation, Discovery can be a powerful market disruptor.

The company, with headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, has expanded its operations globally and currently serves over 5 million clients across South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Singapore and Australia. Discovery recently partnered with Generali, a leading insurer in Europe, and has entered an exclusive agreement with Sumitomo Life in Japan.

Vitality, Discovery’s wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution for individuals and corporates. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds three million lives in five markets.

Discovery is an authorised financial services provider and trades under the code “DSY” on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange. 

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