Traditionally, the insurance industry has treated people who look after their own health by rewarding them with standard premiums. Smoking, excess drinking and other poor self-care practices, however, attract a higher premium when assessing risk.

Our industry increasingly acknowledges the role people can take in protecting themselves through exercise, good diet and more. This applies, generally, for both those with no known health conditions, but also to those, that have a pre-existing condition. Inactive people have an increased risk of, for example, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity and cancer. Excess weight impacts almost every aspect of health, from reproductive and respiratory function to memory and mood.

Through digital innovation and broader access to new data sets, life and health insurers are now incorporating far more sophisticated approaches to point of sale and ongoing assessment of risk into their business models.

Vitality

At Hannover Re, we believe in supporting our business partners to encourage and reward healthy lifestyle practices as much as possible. A pioneer in this space has been in South Africa, where the insurer Discovery Life has been active in Vitality programmes for many decades and continues to drive the concept of shared value.

This insurance company has set up a network of partnerships with supermarkets, fitness studios, airlines, restaurants and many more organisations, enabling customers to, in effect, exchange good lifestyle choices for considerable discounts at partners.

As an example, this could mean that healthy food options in the consumer’s supermarket trolley count towards maintaining free gym membership. It’s win-win for the insurer, which benefits from lower claims and increased persistency and also for the end customer, who enjoys better health and substantial savings on expenses (including insurance!). In close cooperation with Hannover Re, this concept has been exported to the UK, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Latin America. Find out more about Vitality here.

Qinematic®

The benefits of digital disruption in the insurance industry are coming in thick and fast. Another partner, Qinematic®, uses software to record and measure human movement within minutes. The output can be analysed for optimising health and monitoring progress over time. It can help identify potential or existing problems earlier and before conditions have become chronic and affect lifestyle or indeed trigger a claim. Find out more about Qinematic® here.

hr | equarium

A look at Hannover Re’s insurtech innovation pool hr | equarium reveals a number of innovative companies that are helping consumers to monitor and look after their health. These range from DNA testing to enable educated lifestyle decisions based on one’s unique genetic profile, to sleep tracking apps offering support for stress and other mental health-related conditions including anxiety, trauma, eating disorders, mild depression and addiction.