Improving individuals’ understanding of their health as part of their protection plans is VitalityLife’s core strategy next year.
According to Deepak Jobanputra, deputy chief executive at VitalityLife, 2017 will see further changes for the better in the field of health and wellbeing.
“We want to get more people engaging with their health and to improve ‘health literacy’ – that is a central part of our plan next year,” he said.
Mr Jobanputra said he sees both medical and wearable technology improving in 2017, and for this to become a way for VitalityLife’s members to “engage with our core purpose which is to make them healthier and to enhance and protect their lives”.
The industry can expect new products and initiatives from VitalityLife next year, he said.
This year saw VitalityLife invest heavily in engaging consumers through advertising, which Mr Jobanputra said is “fundamental” to growing the market and people’s awareness of protection – which helps advisers too.
“Raising consumer awareness about protection is essential to our strategy as well as our success – and the further growth of our industry.
“It benefits both advisers and customers and it can be done in a positive way.
“However, today’s savvy consumers often need something more, which is why we believe in rewarding healthy behaviours today as well as providing comprehensive cover over the longer term.”
Members who hold VitalityLife protection cover plans can earn points which they can use to claim rewards such as cinema tickets, make savings on British Airways flights and get a reduced price Apple Watch depending on how active they are.
“Because our members can engage with our product every day by getting something back (even if they don’t claim), they are seeing real benefit in what is typically known as a grudge purchase and something they hope they never have to use,” Mr Jobanputra said.
The game plan for 2016 was to “innovate and focus on being a force for social good”.
“We do this by looking at the social issues that exist in the consumer environment and provide benefits to address these needs.
“We want to see a healthier and better protected society and we believe the way to do this is by providing value and increasing engagement.”
VitalityLife has this year looked to improve underwriting by changing the way protection applicants undergo blood testing by introducing ‘finger-prick testing’ to the UK life insurance market.
Finger-prick testing means that when blood samples are required during underwriting, they are obtained via a simple finger-prick test rather than by a hypodermic syringe.
It also started the year by launching a range of new whole of life products, enhancing its serious illness cover to 170 conditions and making Vitality Optimiser available with business protection.
It also announced two new collaborations with Apple and Ocado that reward people for living healthily.