When veteran corporate coach/trainer Geraldine Farinha-Ferreira, 61, first took out her Discovery Classic Life Plan 16 years ago, there were no PayBacks, premium discounts, no Health Integrator or Vitality Active Rewards.
Demonstrating the power of PayBack
These are all among a host of innovative, incentivising products that have since put Discovery at the forefront of health and wellness insurance world-wide.
The moment Geraldine realised that multiple potential benefits were coming on stream, she registered with Vitality and with daily 4.30am, five kilometre runs along Durban's beachfront, weekly parkruns and a yoga session and ensuring she completed at least 10 000 steps a day, she quickly reached Vitality Diamond status in 2012. She's maintained that highest possible Vitality status ever since, along with its myriad rewards and significant Discovery partner discounts. She was particularly grateful for a saving of over 40% on her air ticket to Australia to visit her daughter in 2016.
With Retirement Optimiser more recently incorporated in her Classic Life Plan, Vitality Drive and a Health Integrator and with low claims on her Coastal Saver Medical Plan, she stands to secure a substantial Classic Life Plan pay-out upon retirement at 65, not to mention PayBack totalling R7 300 in 2009 and R10 900 in 2014. This is on top of her ongoing premium discounts. She's due another R14 000 in PayBack in February 2019.
She laughs; "You know, I was a freelance corporate coach for nearly 30 years and only recently joined a company where I now look after their in-house needs. The honest truth is that various erratic payments landed in my account over the years - I didn't really take notice of which was which, so I had to go and look them up. They've certainly been very welcome."
She lost contact with her original broker after moving from Johannesburg to Durban in 2003 and only some three years ago changed to a new broker, a family friend, in Durban.
Discovery innovation attracted her
"I must say what first attracted me to Discovery was their medical aid - I took the Coastal Saver Plan and they were just so innovative - and then I realised this innovation was across the board. They seemed to understand just what I needed and when my needs changed as a newly divorced single mother and my kids were established in their professions, I tailored my insurance accordingly and took out the Health Integrator. It takes a bit of focus, but Discovery makes it very easy," she adds.
Geraldine wears a Fitbit HR which earns her daily Vitality points when she exercises.
"What stands out for me with Discovery is their client-focused attitude. They're continually looking at what their clients need and want and keep adapting to changes in the marketplace. I've been absolutely wowed by their suite of products. I also have my husband's car and mine on Vitality Drive with household insurance and we both fill up at BP and Shell which earns us cash back. My driving behaviour is also very good so I've earned extra points there as well which all goes to boost my Health Integrator on my Classic Life Plan." Geraldine remarried in 2008.
She now cannot wait to check what her next five-yearly PayBack amount will be and is delighted at having chosen Discovery products.
"I imagine I can probably boost my rewards even further, if I just get a better handle on integrating my suite of products and talk to my broker," the grandmother of five admits.
This endorsement does not constitute financial advice.
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