Life insurance giant AIA will offer its 500,000 New Zealand customers freebies and discounts if they sign up to a programme that encourages them to live healthier lifestyles.
The Vitality rewards scheme is owned by a separate company, South African insurer Discovery, and gives people “points” if they complete various online health assessments and routine medical checks.
Points can also be earned by uploading exercise data from devices such as Fitbits and Apple Watches, and by taking flu vaccinations.
AIA New Zealand took in $717 million in premiums from customers in the year to June.
Whether people got involved in the programme, and the degree to which they did so, would be up to them, he said.
“It is entirely up to people how they want to use the scheme, but the scheme recognises different levels of participation and the higher up the scheme you get, the more benefits you get.”
AIA would not get direct access to any health or lifestyle information customers provided, and would only be advised by Discovery if they had been accredited as “bronze, silver, gold or platinum” members of the scheme, Stanhope said.
But the insurer would offer Vitality members discounts on their health insurance premiums based on their tier status, to reflect their lower health risks, Stanhope said.
AIA had yet to decide the value of those discounts but Stanhope said they would be “material”.
Vitality members would also be rewarded with discounts and offers on lifestyle-related products and services from third-party companies, which in Australia includes discounted airfares.
The rewards system stacked up commercially because it had been shown that people enrolled in Vitality had lower health risks, he said.
“Discovery has been operating for 20 years, and we know from data that our customers will claim less and they will leave us less. The programme funds itself through the healthier outcomes of individuals.
“We can demonstrate that through science and data.”
About 130,000 AIA customers in Australia have joined Vitality and about 70 per cent of new customers were now signing up, he said.
The details of how people earn rewards can be customised between insurers and countries.
In South Africa, Discovery offers 5000 “points” to Vitality members who take HIV tests, for example, but that is not part of the incentive scheme as operated for AIA in Australia.