The 2nd of February 2017 saw the AIA Insurance Group in Sri Lanka host an exclusive media roundtable discussion at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo. The primary topic under discussion was the newly introduced AIA Vitality program, which was launched in Sri Lanka on the 15th of January this year.
Present at the discussion were Mr. Bill Lisle, the Regional CEO of AIA Insurance and Mr. Pankaj Banerjee, the CEO of AIA Insurance Lanka PLC as well as other senior members of the organization. Leading members of the media also graced the event.
Sri Lanka was the AIA Group’s first business acquisition in its 98-year history back in 2012. The AIA Group is the second largest in the world on market count. Based solely in Asia, AIA’s network spans across 18 markets.
“Our model has always been very simple, we collect money and we pay a claim; that’s what an insurance company does. This leads to us having very little engagement with our customers and as an industry we are renowned for being quite poor when it comes to engaging with our customers”, explained Mr. Lisle.
About 5 years ago AIA joined forces with a very innovative company in South Africa called ‘Discovery’. Globally known for its work in healthcare and having worked with Mr. Obama in the US as well as a number of countries in Europe,‘Discovery’ works to understand the causes and find solutions to some of the non-communal diseases across the globe. It was found that it comes down to 4 main lifestyle traits that contribute to 70% of non-communicable diseases. Such traits as, poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and alcoholism contribute to an inappropriate amount of deaths on a global level.
According to Mr. Lisle over 1 million of the citizens of Sri Lanka are diabetic while 26% of the population are over-weight.
“Discovery helped us find a really simple solution to helping people become healthier. There are 3 parts to the “Vitality Circle” as we call it,” said Mr. Lisle. “First, know your health. In this way we hope to motivate people to simply discover the state of their health. Once you know your health the question is, what are you going to do to improve it? Hence our slogan: Let’s walk Sri Lanka! By having a more balanced diet, reducing alcohol intake and quitting smoking habits one may take a huge step forward in becoming healthier”.
The AIA Vitality app will monitor the improvement of an individual’s health and reward that particular person with redeemable points.
“So the second and third parts of the “Vitality Circle” are, do something about it (your state of health) and be rewarded for doing something about it, respectively. You can collect points for walking or simply having a medical check up. Thus you earn points just for doing things you should do”, Mr. Lisle explained.
AIA Vitality has already been launched in countries such as Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore. The app is currently in launch phase in Korea, Thailand and the Philippines.
“Over the next 12 months we will have rolled the program out across all of our markets”, stated Mr. Lisle. “We’ve partnered with literally hundreds of partners who wish to support healthy living. Those partners range from healthy food stores, to pharmacies, hotels, cinemas, sports equipment, gyms and even airlines”.
The AIA Vitality program follows a point reward mechanism, which provides instant rewards, which will serve as a means of motivating people to lead healthy lifestyles.
“What this program allows us to do is actually reward people for being healthier and by having integrated insurance policies we can actually give discounts on premiums to people who we know are healthier. This becomes a win-win situation. We are helping our communities become healthier and live longer, we reward them as a way of motivation and we’re reducing premiums of pro-life for those who become healthier. We invite people to be a part of our insurance program, so that when they are in need we can be there to protect them”, said Mr. Lisle.
According to the Regional CEO, there has been a most encouraging response from staff to distribution and their customers. Engagement between AIA and its customers have increased 10 fold.
The CEO of AIA Insurance Sri Lanka, Mr. Pankaj Banerjee thanked the gathering for their presence before explaining that the conversion of the passive nature ofthe business model and the product category, into the motivated active participation of consumers is the only means by which an insurance organization may differentiate itself in the industry. “A program like Vitality will aid in differentiating the AIA Group from the rest in Asia. Our “Let’s Walk!” campaign is pretty simple and straight-forward but very powerful and useful”, explained Mr. Banerjee. “At first we did the launch internally amongst our staff and agents as the concept was new in Sri Lanka. An insurance company talking about living healthier and longer rather than disaster and death is unique. So we wanted to make sure that our staff and agents had a clear understanding of this concept and the value proposition it offered customers.”
The Vitality app comes with no strings attached. The program is open to all who wish to be a part of it and lead a healthier lifestyle.
“We genuinely want to be closer to our existing and prospective customers”, stated Mr. Banerjee.In the fifteen days following its launch over 3000 people have downloaded the Vitality app, thus taking their first steps towards leading fuller and healthier lives with the support of AIA Insurance.