Sumitomo Life launches Vitality in Japan


Vitality is a compelling behaviour change platform that partners with leading insurers and forward-thinking employers around the world. More than 8 million people globally engage in the Vitality health programme, and as of 24 July 2018, clients in Japan can too.

Life insurance is critical in Japan. The Japanese insurance market represents the world’s 2nd largest insurance market, with over 152 million policies in force. According to the World Health Organization, non-communicable diseases account for 79% of deaths in Japan. This makes maintaining and managing good health a priority for clients and insurers alike.

Vitality Group, responsible for the global expansion of the Vitality Shared-Value Insurance model using the capabilities of Discovery and its network, just announced the launch of the first Vitality-linked insurance offering in Japan, in partnership with Sumitomo Life. Sumitomo Life was established 110 years ago and is currently one of the world’s largest life insurance companies.

Sumitomo Life Vitality launched to stakeholders in Tokyo

The partnership, announced in July 2016, links the Vitality programme to a Sumitomo Life insurance product and uses digital technology to enable access to and discounts on Vitality programme offerings. All partners expect Sumitomo Life Vitality to bring extraordinary health-promotion and insurance savings to this market.

Barry Swartzberg, CEO of Vitality Group said, “Vitality is a powerful behaviour change platform, which is successfully improving the health of over 8 million people in 17 markets. Today, we are excited to extend that reach even further, and introduce Sumitomo Life Vitality to Japan. Maintaining the integrity of our core Vitality offering, we aim to make the Japanese population healthier by incentivising healthy behaviour.”

“We aim to revitalise life insurance in Japan”

On applying the Vitality model that combines life insurance with encouraging and rewarding behaviour that makes people healthier, Mr. Masahiro Hashimoto, President and CEO of Sumitomo Life added, “Sumitomo Life Vitality gives us a unique position in the Japanese insurance market. The upfront discounts offer clients the ability to take a higher level of insurance.”

“Not only are we adding to adequately protecting people financially in sickness, disability or death, but we are also protecting their healthy life expectancy when they engage with this programme as part of our insurance offering. We aim to revitalise life insurance in Japan, creating better health for society and tangible value for our clients and our business.”

“Vitality works because it is intuitive”

“Vitality works because it is intuitive. In a simple yet effective way, Vitality incentivises people to understand their health, exercise more, eat better and stop smoking,” says Swartzberg. “Non-communicable diseases prevalent among this region’s ageing population. With our extensive network of health and reward partnerships in Japan, we hope to see Sumitomo Life Vitality propel the success of the business, and provide the necessary shift to help lower the high number of premature deaths.”

Vitality is a global behaviour change platform that has for 20 years used clinical research and behavioural economics to address areas that stem the rise of non-communicable diseases. With knowledge about health and access to tools that help manage risk areas, people who engage with the programme qualify for insurance premium discounts, which are reviewed every year. They also get savings and rewards that lower the perceived cost barriers to eating healthily, keeping fit and taking care of their health. This rewards system drives positive behaviour change over the long term, resulting in Vitality members living longer.

Healthier people translate into a more productive society

Swartzberg, explaining the model and how it is applied, said, “Vitality, linked to insurance, as in the case of Sumitomo Life Vitality, is a powerful mechanism to differentiate insurance offers. Healthier people translate into a more productive and healthier society, with lower healthcare needs and costs. The clear correlation between lowering insurance risk by encouraging preventive care and healthy lifestyle habits led to us developing this model, termed Vitality Shared-Value Insurance.”

Sumitomo Life Vitality insurance products will be available to the public and sales agents from 24 July 2018, and will be available to clients who are 18 years old or older. The product will be distributed through the existing financial adviser network of Sumitomo Life, which has around 32 000 financial advisers, operating across all Japanese regions.

Get up to 50% of your premiums back in cash for living a healthier life

By simply linking your Discovery Life Plan with your other Discovery products and for managing your health and wellness you can receive a percentage of your premiums back every five years. Integration allows you to receive up to 50% of your qualifying premiums back every five years. Read more about why you need life insurance.

Exciting new surprise rewards: become a winner by getting fitter!

Vitality Active Rewards encourages you to work out more frequently in a variety of ways, by giving you weekly rewards for meeting personalised physical activity goals. Now the stakes have been upped with a host of exciting new surprise rewards! Achieve a goal streak with three fitness goals in a row to earn a surprise reward.

Thousands of surprise rewards have been won so far - including grand prizes of local and international holiday packages, and hundreds of retail rewards from partners like Cape Union Mart, Nando’s, NetFlorist, Sorbet and Yuppiechef.

Become a winner by getting fitter: join Vitality today and then activate Vitality Active Rewards on the latest version of the Discovery app.


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