Sumitomo Life Vitality launches in Japan. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - The Vitality Group on Wednesday unveiled the first Vitality-linked insurance offering in Japan in partnership with Sumitomo Life. CEO of Vitality Group, Barry Swartzberg addressed a meeting of employees and other stakeholders in Japan.

"Vitality is a powerful behaviour change platform, which is successfully improving the health of 8 million people in 17 markets. Today, we are excited to extend that reach even further and introduce Sumitomo Life Vitality to Japan. Maintaining the integrity of our core Vitality offering, we aim to make the Japanese population healthier by incentivising healthy behaviour," Swartzberg said.

On applying the Vitality model, which combines life insurance with encouraging and rewarding behaviour that makes people healthier, president and CEO of Sumitomo Life, Masahiro Hashimoto said Sumitomo Life Vitality gives Sumitomo Life a unique position in the Japanese insurance market.

"The upfront discounts offer clients the ability to take a higher level of insurance. Not only are we adding to adequately protecting people financially in sickness, disability or death, but we are also protecting their healthy life expectancy when they engage with this programme as part of our insurance offering. We aim to revitalise life insurance in Japan, creating better health for society and tangible value for our clients and our business," said Hashimoto.

Swartzberg said that Vitality worked because it is intuitive. 

Adrian Gore at the launch of Sumitomo Life Vitality in Japan. Picture: Supplied


"In a simple yet effective way, Vitality incentivises people to understand their health, exercise more, eat better and stop smoking. With our extensive network of health and reward partnerships in Japan, we hope to see Sumitomo Life Vitality propel the success of the business, and provide the necessary shift to help lower the high number of premature deaths from non-communicable diseases prevalent among this region’s ageing population," said Swartzberg. 

Swartzberg, explaining the model and how it is applied, said: "Vitality, linked to insurance, as in the case of Sumitomo Life Vitality, is a powerful mechanism to differentiate insurance offers.... The clear correlation between lowering insurance risk by encouraging preventive care and healthy lifestyle habits led to us developing this model termed Vitality Shared-Value Insurance."

The partnership, announced in July 2016, links the Vitality programme to a Sumitomo Life insurance product and uses digital technology to enable access to and discounts on Vitality programme offerings.

All Sumitomo Life Vitality insurance products will be available to the public and sales agents from 24 July 2018.

African News Agency/ANA