18 June 2020: Discovery took home the Gold Global Innovator Award at the Efma-Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards on Wednesday night, a virtual ceremony showcasing the best examples of insurance innovations across the globe.
Discovery Chief Executive Adrian Gore accepted the Global Innovator Award saying, “We are honoured to be featured in a global competition of this calibre and see it as a validation of our Vitality Shared-Value Insurance model that creates value for the insurer, clients and society.”
In its 5th annual awards, insurance and banking industry association Efma, along with Accenture, announced the winners in a competition that attracted 360 submissions from 240 institutions in 45 countries. Close to 800 institutions have participated in the awards since 2016, with more than 17 000 votes received for more than 1500 innovations.
The Global Innovator category recognises the most innovative insurance organisation whose corporate vision commits it successfully to continuous innovation and transformation, to the development and leadership of a broad ecosystem of partners extending beyond insurance, and to the exploitation of emerging technologies that improve the experience of its customers and the performance of its business.
Discovery won for its pioneering shared-value business model, Vitality, which has been scaled globally to 24 markets with over 20 million members, leading a transformation in the insurance industry. Its mechanism of guiding and rewarding better health behaviour has been adopted by leading insurance organisations around the world, with the aim of making people healthier – Discovery’s core purpose. The Vitality Shared-Value Insurance model has been academically validated, with those highly engaged in the programme demonstrating 10% lower hospital admissions, 10-30% lower hospital costs and 15-20% higher life expectancy.
In a COVID-19 context, Discovery has implemented key product enhancements and benefits that respond specifically to insurance needs during the pandemic, including extended cover for screening, testing and hospitalisation; premium relief structures; and a revamped Vitality programme to enable people to stay healthy and active at home. On a national level, Discovery has partnered with telecoms firm Vodacom to make online doctor consultations available to all South Africans through its virtual healthcare platform, and funded the first 100 000 of these consultations.
In addition to Global Innovator, Discovery won Bronze in the Core Insurance Transformation category for its Active Rewards 2020 offering, which builds on Discovery’s weekly micro-incentives programme for physical activity. Vitality Active Rewards incentivises individuals for reaching personalised weekly activity goals, with research showing this results in sustained improvements in physical activity (a 2018 study by RAND Europe shows participation is associated with an increase in total tracked activity of about 33%). Given this impact, Vitality Active Rewards has evolved to include into other areas of health and wellbeing, such as improved nutrition, better sleep and managing mental health.
“We are excited about the potential of Active Rewards 2020 to create holistic and lasting health behaviour change. The product provides ongoing interactive opportunities for members to practice healthy activities based on their unique health attributes along with learned preferences and behaviours – making healthy habit formation attractive, engaging, and rewarding,” said Alan Pollard, President of Product and Innovation, Vitality Group.
The winners were selected through a combination of votes by a panel of judges comprising senior insurers from around the world and online by Efma members and non-members from insurance institutions. Each entry was assessed using three criteria: its originality; its strategic capacity to create a long-term competitive edge and return on investment; and its adaptability for use in other markets and countries.
Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment and wellness markets. Since inception in 1992, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-Value insurance model, active in 24 markets with over 20 million members. The model is exported and scaled through the Global Vitality Network, an alliance of some of the largest insurers across key markets including AIA (Asia), Ping An (China), Generali (Europe), Sumitomo (Japan), John Hancock (US), Manulife (Canada) and Vitality Life & Health (UK, wholly owned). Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange as DSY.
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