As summer begins, life insurer AIA Australia has announced a host of changes to its AIA Vitality program by bringing on board new retail partners and introducing new benefits for members.
Launched in March 2014, AIA Vitality is the first program in Australia to use incentives to encourage people to adopt and sustain healthy behaviour. Using the latest research in behavioural economics, incentivisation and wellness, the program rewards members with special rates on everyday purchases when they make positive choices such as buying healthy foods or exercising.
The report offers innovative solutions on using incentives to address the critical health state of Australia, where 60% of adults and one in four children are overweight or obese.* 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 $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 in 2025.**
As a part of the program’s refresh, more immediate and day-to-day rewards have been introduced for members through a new partnership with Boost Juice. As a part of the ‘Active Benefits’ offer, AIA Vitality members who accumulate 250 physical activity points – the equivalent of 37,500 steps - in one week, will receive a $7.50 Boost Juice voucher.
In addition, improved benefits have been added including gift vouchers with a combined value of $650 that are redeemable at Myer, Woolworths, JB Hi-Fi, Caltex Woolworths and Rebel Sport. AIA Vitality members can also access upgraded discounts to Virgin Active Health Clubs and Anytime Fitness.
AIA Australia Chief Executive Offer Damien Mu said, “With many health-related activities such as exercising or healthy eating, the benefits and rewards are not always obvious or are delayed. Therefore, it’s not surprising that most people would rather hit the snooze button than go for a morning jog or gym session.
“By recognising that desires, distractions and urgencies of the moment often get in the way of people pursuing what's best for their health, government and organisations can enhance the benefits of healthy choices by including well-designed rewards as part of public health programs.”
“When we launched AIA Vitality last year, we had a clear goal to try and revolutionize life insurance in Australia. We wanted to change the conversation around life insurance and give advisers a different way to engage with their clients.
“In that time, more than 10,000 people have joined the program and almost 2,000 advisers have written at least one AIA Vitality membership integrated with a Priority Protection policy. Indeed, the results to date show that by giving clients the chance to engage with their insurance on a daily basis through the program, they are 40% less likely to lapse on their life insurance policies. The program is clearly having an impact.
“When you play this out on a national scale, with three in five Australian adults overweight or obese and underinsurance costing the Australian government more than $1.5 billion per year, the potential for incentive-based health and wellness programs like AIA Vitality are enormous.”
“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 affects a person’s ability to work and quality of life.
“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 program that has been proven to 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.”
Ged Lowe, Director of Lowe Financial Group in Braeside, Victoria, is reaping the dividends of writing AIA Vitality integrated with Priority Protection. Ged has sold a number of AIA Vitality memberships with Priority Protection policies for his clients, and believes the program is shaking up the life insurance sector in Australia.
“Innovation in the industry has been stagnant over many years, and now I’m able to turn the conversation around life insurance on its head. We’re saying to people that we can effectively pay them to be healthy through the tangible, immediate benefits that make up the program. We’re appealing to people’s aspirations rather than fears, which is a big change for advisers writing risk.”
Since writing AIA Vitality, Ged has also noticed a difference in the number of new business referrals he is receiving from people wanting to join the program because of friends that have joined.
“I’ve received a number of phone calls from people in the Bayside area who have heard about AIA Vitality simply because one of their friends has used a Myer gift voucher to buy a new outfit. When I mention that it is tied to buying life insurance, they’ll often say that they have been meaning to look at their level of cover and AIA Vitality was the prompt they needed.”
When it comes to risk advisers looking for guidance on how to have a conversation around health and wellness with their clients, Ged’s advice is to keep it simple during the fact-find process and ask the right questions.
“I do my usual fact-find as any adviser does with their clients about their financial goals and insurance needs because that’s my job first and foremost. Now, I’ll ask my clients about their health, fitness and lifestyle activities to see if a program like AIA Vitality could be relevant for them. It becomes an extension of my fact-find.”
For more information on AIA Vitality, visit http://aiavitality.com.au.
*Statistics from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2013- www.aihw.gov.au/overweight-and-obesity
**Statistics from Australian Government Preventative Taskforce’s Australia: The Healthiest Country by 2020 - http://www.preventativehealth.org.au/internet/preventativehealth/publishing.nsf/Content/discussion-healthiest
# # #
Contact: Georgina Hall
0432 446 110
About AIA Australia
AIA Australia Limited is an independent life insurance specialist with over 40 years’ 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 three million Australians.
AIA Australia is the one of the country’s largest group life insurers 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, including AFR Smart Investor Life Company of the Year, CANSTAR’s Innovation Excellence Award, the AFA Innovation Award for the Best Risk Product of 2014 and ANZIIF’s Life Company of the Year (2013 and 2012), stand as testament to the success of our commitment to productive partnerships.
AIA Australia is part of the AIA Group, a market leader in life insurance across the Asia Pacific region for over 90 years.