Press release -
Discovery and AIA Group joint venture launches in Australia
6 March 2014 – In July 2013, Discovery Limited (“Discovery”) and AIA Group Limited (“AIA”) announced a strategic joint venture to introduce Discovery’s successful wellness-based life insurance model to the Asia-Pacific region.
The joint venture, known as "AIA Vitality", was officially launched in Australia today. This launch to the wider Australian market follows a successful pilot phase where a limited number of financial advisers had the opportunity to trial the AIA Vitality programme. AIA Vitality was first launched in Singapore in 2013.
AIA Vitality sees the coalescing of AIA’s brand, distribution and life insurance market leadership with Discovery’s proprietary wellness-based expertise and experience. The joint venture offers protection products that are designed to deliver better health and lower premium rates for AIA's customers. It will tailor the dynamic approach of linking wellness incentives to life and health insurance, first pioneered by Discovery in South Africa.
Commenting on the launch, Dr Craig Nossel, Head of Vitality Wellness at Discovery said, “The the rising incidence of chronic diseases and the resultant increase in healthcare costs and premature deaths is a global issue. We see these trends in South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States – Australia and the broader Asia-Pacific region is no different. Against this backdrop, we are extremely excited to see the rollout of AIA Vitality in Australia and working towards addressing these worrying but modifiable risks.”
Peter Crewe, Chief Executive Officer of AIA Australia, said that many private sector organisations can play a role in helping solve Australia’s soaring obesity and chronic disease rates.
“All sectors are affected by our nation’s health problems, including the life insurance industry, where we’ve seen an increasing number of claims made because of debilitating chronic diseases that affect a person’s quality of life and their ability to work.
“We need to be part of the solution and give back to the community by positively impacting on people’s lives from the beginning, rather than just managing claims at the end. That is why we are excited to bring Vitality — an innovative programme that has been proven to positively influence people’s health behaviour over the past two decades — to Australia, and to partner with key businesses and the public health sector over the long term to help reduce the burden on the health system.”
AIA Australia recently launched a report titled ‘The Case for Incentivising Health: Using behavioural economics to improve health and wellness.’ The report offers innovative solutions on using incentives to address the critical state of health in Australia, where 60% of adults and one in four children are overweight or obese. According to the report, three controllable behaviours — excess weight, smoking and excess alcohol use — account for a third of all illness, reduce Australians’ life expectancy by five years and cost taxpayers almost $AUD 6 billion per year. If the current trend continues unabated, it is predicted that three-quarters of the Australian population will be overweight or obese by 2025.
Discovery’s Vitality wellness programme is the international leader in creating sustained behavioural change to promote healthier ways of living. The integration of this programme into the life insurance market has been shown to not only drive improved rates of mortality and morbidity, but also provide a dynamic premium rating system – the combined effect allows customers to improve their personal health while paying reduced premiums for high quality insurance.
The Vitality programme currently has more than five million members worldwide in South Africa, UK, USA, China and Singapore. Vitality was launched by Discovery in 1997.
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 by the current Group Chief Executive Officer Adrian Gore, 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 6 million clients across South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and Singapore. 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 five million lives.
Discovery is an authorised financial services provider. It is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange and trades under the code “DSY”.
About AIA Australia
AIA Australia Limited is an independent life insurance specialist with over 40 years of experience building successful partnerships. One of the country’s leading life insurers, AIA Australia offers a range of products that protect the financial health and welfare of more than two and a half million Australians.
AIA Australia is the country’s largest group life insurer by market share and works closely with major financial institutions and corporate partners.
In addition, AIA Australia offers retail insurance products through financial advisers and a valued network of affinity partners.
By having a partnership philosophy at the core of its business, AIA Australia is focused on building sustainable relationships that add true value to its business partners. Numerous industry awards over the past year, including the AFR’s Blue Ribbon award win for best term life/TPD insurance product and ANZIIF’s Life Company of the Year (2013 and 2012), and 2012 Smart Investor Life Insurer of the Year, stand as testament to our commitment to productive partnerships.
AIA Australia is part of the AIA Group, a market leader in life insurance across the Asia Pacific region with over 90 years of experience.