Ex-Vitality CEO's insurer launches with £3m backing

Ex-Vitality CEO's insurer launches with £3m backing

A so-called lifestyle insurance business has launched in the UK with a mission to make British companies healthier and happier.

Yulife was founded by Sammy Rubin, former Vitality chief executive officer, and has already raised £3m from investors before its launch.

The insurer aims to create lasting, positive lifestyle changes by rewarding everyday activities through its insurance and games-based app.

Mr Rubin’s idea, which was originally shared last summer, was born out of a desire to revolutionise the life insurance industry and create a financial product that works for insurer and client.

Mr Rubin said: "Life insurance is an incredible product, but the proposition has to evolve to fit the needs of a new generation.

"We are building the world’s first lifestyle insurance business to put the customer at the centre. Yulife has a big mission: we want to help people to live their best lives, and we are passionate about using tech and financial services as a force for good."

Yulife was backed by LocalGlobe, the UK investor behind LoveFilm and TransferWise, fintech investor Anthemis, and Israel’s most active venture investor OurCrowd.

Global insurance giant AIG is underwriting all its policies.

Yulife's app was inspired by the medical philosophy of Dr Rangan Chatterjee, who also acts as Yulife’s chief wellbeing officer.

It will be powered by artificial intelligence and behavioural science and will reward members with Yucoin—the Yulife currency of wellbeing—for small, everyday lifestyle changes such as walking to work, or meditating using health app Calm.

Users progress through levels, compete in company leaderboards and complete quests that drive an improvement to overall wellbeing. Yucoin can be redeemed for rewards such as Avios points, Asos vouchers and NowTV passes.

Sam Fromson, co-founder and chief operating officer, said: "We have rebuilt the insurance infrastructure from the ground up to support our long-term vision of creating a new type of insurance company that is simple, easy and fun to engage with.

"Businesses are bombarded with complex benefits options and wellbeing packages that quickly fade out of use. Yulife offers an engaging and compelling proposition of life insurance, wellbeing and rewards, all in one simple app."

The launch comes as Yulife and benefits and risk consultancy Hymans Robertson found in research last month the majority of employees would always choose an employer that positively contributes to their wellbeing, even if it meant earning less money.

Richard Purcell, insurance innovation lead for life and financial services at Hymans, said a lot more can be done by employers and insurers to encourage a more positive and healthy workforce.

"Employers should recognise that the needs of the workforce are changing and look at ways they can create a working environment that contributes more positively to people’s wellbeing," he said.

Venilia Batista Amorim is a freelance writer for FTAdviser