Our businesses

We operate in the healthcare cover market in South Africa, the UK and China; the life assurance market in South Africa and the UK; as well as the long-term savings and investment market, and short-term insurance market in South Africa.

Vitality, our wellness programme, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution. It provides individual and corporate wellness initiatives in South Africa, the UK, the US and China. Vitality now has more than three million members worldwide.

Our business units

Discovery Health

Launched in 1992, Discovery Health is South Africa’s largest healthcare funder – it manages 14 medical schemes. This includes the Discovery Health Medical Scheme, South Africa’s largest open medical scheme, covering more than 2.6 million lives. The scheme is the only one in South Africa to enjoy an AA+ rating for its claimspaying ability from international rating agency Global Credit Ratings.

Discovery Health was named the top medical aid brand in the Sunday Times Top Brands survey for both 2010 and 2011, and was voted the top healthcare product supplier at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) Awards. In 2012, the PricewaterhouseCoopers fifth biennial Strategic and Emerging Issues in South African Insurance survey rated Discovery Health’s insurance products as the leader in the industry.

Discovery Life

Discovery Life was established in 2000 and is South Africa’s fastest growing major life assurer in the risk market, having captured 25% of the overall risk broker market. The company covers more than 673 000 lives. Discovery Life was the first South African insurer to separate risk from investment, and the value of its business is now more than R1.6 billion.

Discovery Life was voted the top life assurer in the Sunday Times Top Brands survey for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2017, and the top risk and life assurance supplier at the 2010 Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) Awards and the top long-term insurer: recurring savings at the 2011 FIA Awards. In 2012, the PricewaterhouseCoopers fifth biennial Strategic and Emerging Issues in South African Insurance survey rated Discovery Life’s life products as the leader in the industry.

Discovery Invest

Discovery Invest was launched in October 2007 and now has more than 66 000 clients. The company offers clients a unique and comprehensive product range that addresses gaps in the market by offering greater protection against poor investment choices.

Discovery Invest now has more than R25 billion in assets under management. Through the company’s LISP platform, clients have access to over 329 local and 65 offshore investment funds.

In 2011 and 2012, Discovery Invest received the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) award in the investment product: recurring premium category.

Discovery Vitality

Launched in 1997, Vitality is our science-based wellness programme that underpins each of the Discovery businesses and is an international brand in its own right. Vitality encourages healthy behaviour that reduces long-term healthcare costs by rewarding members for improving their health. It now has more than 1.6 million members in South Africa.

To further encourage and reward healthy behaviour, theHealthyLiving benefit offers Vitality members up to 25% cash back onHealthyCare products at Clicks, HealthyGear™ at adidas and TotalSports stores, and HealthyFood items at Pick n Pay.

The Vitality value offering is enhanced by our unique Visa credit card, the Discovery Card, which gives members real cash back. Launched in 2004, it is the largest non-bank card in issue. There are now more than 230 000 primary card holders.

Discovery Insure

Discovery Insure was launched in June 2011 and offers comprehensive vehicle, personal and household cover, as well as the option to join Vitalitydrive.

Vitalitydrive is our unique driving behaviour programme that encourages and rewards great driving. The programme uses DQ-Track, to measure your driving behaviour. If you drive well, you will earn DQ Points and the more DQ Points you earn the greater your rewards are, like up to 50% of your BP fuel spend back every month. It’s as simple as that!


In the United Kingdom, we have a 100% shareholding in a joint venture with Prudential plc. Through VitalityHealth and VitalityLife, we offer healthcare cover and protection products.

Launched in 2004, VitalityHealth is the fourth largest private medical insurer in the UK and the only one that rewards people for leading a healthy lifestyle. It offers consumer-directed products linked to the Vitality wellness programme. VitalityHealth now covers 550 000 lives. It has won several awards for its product innovations.


VitalityLife was launched in 2007 and markets consumer-engaged life assurance products in the UK market. The company’s products integrate with those of VitalityHealth and Vitality to offer significant premium savings for clients. The company has become a major player in the UK protection market, having sold more than 89 000 policies.

VitalityLife has received industry recognition, including awards in four categories at the 2011 Defaqto Awards. The company was also named Best Individual Protection Provider in 2011 by Professional Adviser, and walked off with the Innovation Award at the 2011 Protection Review. VitalityLife was named the Most Improved Provider, Best New Initiative Winner and Best New Impact for 2011 by Life Search.

The Vitality Group

Launched in 2007, The Vitality Group offers a stand-alone version of the Vitality programme to self-insured, large employer groups and to healthcare carriers in the United States. Discovery holds a 75% share in The Vitality Group, 25% being held by Humana Inc. The group now has more than 290 000 members.

The Vitality Group has entered into a partnership with Wellness and Prevention, a subsidiary of Johnson&Johnson, the world’s premier consumer health company.

In 2011, the group was awarded the C Everett Koop National Health Award for its work with Alcon Laboratories, a highly prestigious award recognising outstanding workplace health improvement programmes. The Vitality Group recently announced a partnership with ADP, one of the world’s largest providers of payroll and employee benefits administration solutions.


Launched in 2011, HumanaVitality is our joint venture with Humana Inc (through The Vitality Group) that makes Vitality available to Humana clients with commercial medical plans. Humana Inc is the fourth largest health insurer in the US with 18 million members. We hold a 25% share in HumanaVitality. There are currently more than 1.5 million members on HumanaVitality.

Ping An Health

Ping An Health was launched in China in 2010, after we acquired a 20% share in Ping An Health Insurance Co of China Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China. Ping An Insurance is China’s leading insurer and the second largest in the world. The joint venture will see our product innovation and consumer-engaged model exported to a potential market of 83 million families. By December 2011, the number of lives covered exceeded 560 000 members.

Vitality was launched in China through Ping An Health in May 2012.

Discovery in the community

We work every day to strengthen the healthcare system in South Africa and to expand access to care for all South Africans. Read about our numerous projects and initiatives to make people in the broader community healthier.

Discovery on sustainability

We operate in a complex environment where a range of social, environmental and economic issues may impact on Discovery, and where we in turn may impact on these issues. Read about our approach to sustainable development as it relates to our business and the environment in which we operate.