Who we are

Disrupting financial services through shared value

About our business

Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investments, banking, and wellness markets.
Established in 1992, Discovery is guided by a clear purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. Our core purpose has manifested in a globally relevant Shared-Value business model, with Vitality at the centre, which creates value for our businesses, clients and society.

Discovery impacts 25.7 million lives globally and 11.2 million lives on Vitality across all markets. We apply our Shared-Value business model in 20 countries, leveraging the expertise of over 12 950 employees globally.


Primary markets

South Africa

  • South Africa’s leading medical scheme administrator and managed care provider
  • Provides medical scheme members with access to quality, affordable healthcare on a sustainable basis, while assisting in enhancing the healthcare system for all South Africans
  • The business has a market share of over 40% in the overall medical scheme market in South Africa
    • This includes Discovery Health Medical Scheme, South Africa’s largest open medical scheme with 2.8 million lives and a 56% share of the open market
  • 18 restricted medical schemes are also under Discovery Health administration on behalf of corporate clients, with a 16.5% market share

  • Provides individual and business clients with comprehensive life, capital disability, income protection, severe illness, funeral and other risk protection cover
  • Clients benefit from competitive premiums and ongoing dynamic pricing, based on a frictionless underwriting and health monitoring process which encompasses all health, clinical, genetic, lifestyle and demographic risk factors
    • Over 400 000 individual policyholders and over
      600 000 Group Life policyholders
    • Over 25% protection market share  

  • Offers long-term savings and investment products
  • Aims to give clients best market performance and tax- and fee-efficiency, while still offering a level of protection against market volatility
  • Number-one writer of endowment and voluntary purchase annuities
  • Over 310 000 clients
  • R91.6 billion in assets under management

  • Provides personal and commercial short-term insurance
  • Lines of business for personal insurance include motor (which represents the greatest segment of the portfolio), building, household contents and portable possessions
  • Commercial insurance was launched in 2018 and provides market-leading multi-peril cover for property and accident, motor and liability lines of business
  • Both personal and commercial lines are underpinned by Vitality Drive, the innovative driver-behavioural programme that encourages and rewards good driving practices and improved risk management practices
  • 66% of clients on Vitality Drive have a higher status than blue (the lowest tier)
  • More than 10 billion kilometres of driving data gathered since 2011
  • Over 220 000 vehicles insured

  • Linked to Vitality, Discovery Card is a powerful financial service which helps to benefit and incentivise members to live healthy lives and make healthy choices

  • World's first behavioural bank
  • Aims to improve customers’ financial health, helping them change how they work with their money by guiding, motivating and rewarding them for becoming financially healthier
  • After a successful completion of an intensive beta programme with staff, Discovery Bank has started a carefully managed and gradual process of on-boarding existing Discovery Card clients
  • Digital-only banking product offering personalised interest rates and attractive rewards
  • Integrated with other Discovery products to achieve more affordable life insurance, faster growing investments, smarter insurance and convenient health payments

  • Largest health-promotion programme in South Africa and globally
  • 1.8 million lives impacted in South Africa
  • Underpins all Discovery’s businesses by creating attraction and persistency for the entire suite of Discovery products
  • Draws on behavioural economics to support and incentivise people to improve risk-related lifestyle behaviours and their consequently their health, driving and financial wellness
  • Aims to be a growing and sustainable business that dazzles clients and society, and is a force for social good

United Kingdom

  • Offers an integrated medical insurance and wellness proposition to individuals, and predominantly, small and medium enterprise clients
  • The holistic healthcare solution integrates prevention and health promotion with traditional illness cover
  • In the top 5 market leaders
  • 643 000 insured lives covered, plus 715 000 non-insured lives covered by Healthy Workplace
  • Cash generation of £14.7 million in the 2019 financial year
  • Profit growth of 22% in the 2019 financial year

  • Provides individual and business clients with life, capital disability, severe illness and income protection cover
  • Serious Illness Cover protects policyholders for almost four times as many conditions as other providers
  • Only life insurer that encourages and rewards policyholders for being healthy through a range of Optimiser products
  • 543 000 lives covered

  • Combines behavioural economics, savings and wellness to incentivise people to save sooner, invest for longer, manage their income drawdown and take steps to look after their health
  • Combines traditional financial metrics with life expectancy insights, using our proprietary Vitality Age

Discovery partner markets

Vitality Group

  • Operates in 20 countries, and impacts over 3.6 million lives
  • Responsible for Discovery’s expansion of Shared-Value Insurance beyond South Africa and the United Kingdom
  • Fully leverages the capabilities and the Global Vitality Network
  • Forms equity or contractual partnerships with leading insurers to integrate Vitality and shared value with our partners’ insurance and financial service products
  • New Vitality One solution is a globally unified systems architecture that markets can access, allowing rapid and economical deployment to our partners

Vitality USA

  • Corporate wellness offering

Equity partnerships

Contractual partnerships


Recognising the strength of our brand

2019 Brand Finance Insurance 100 rating

Discovery enters top 100 rating

Listed as the world’s second strongest insurance brand based on brand strength 20th annual Sunday Times Top Brands Awards

20th annual Sunday Times Top Brands Awards

Discovery Health Medical Scheme received the Grand Prix award as the 2018 Overall Favourite Brand in the Business category and awarded first place in the medical aid category for the ninth consecutive year

Discovery Insure as favourite customer brand in short-term insurance
Brandz™ Top 30 – South African Brands 2018

Brandz Top 30 – South African Brands 2018

9th most valuable brand in South Africa


Our value-added statement

Distributing wealth among our stakeholders

One measure of a healthy organisation is its ability to deliver value to its stakeholders and society more broadly. Discovery's value-added statement provides a snapshot of the revenue generated by the Group in 2019 and details how this wealth is distributed among our stakeholders.

DOWNLOAD 2019 VAS 


Applying behavioural economics

Driving shared value for Discovery, it's members and society

The Challenge: 4 lifestyle behaviours and 4 chronic conditions contribute to 60% of deaths worldwide

The behaviours
  • Poor diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Tobacco use
  • Excess alcohol intake

The conditions
  • Cancer
  • Lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease

The source
World Health Organisation and its Global Burden of Disease assessment


Our response: Make people healthier and live longer

How we do this

As a catalyst for behaviour change, we incentivise and reward our members to improve their health by providing better value and improved price and benefits.

Sustaining our business

Healthy behaviours supporting:

  • Lower claims
  • Higher margins
  • Positive selection and lower lapses

Sustaining society

Savings and healthier behaviours have a positive societal impact through:

  • A healthier society
  • Improved productivity
  • Reduced healthcare burden
leading to a virtuous cycle of
shared value

Additional information on the Group’s strategy, performance and prospects can be found in the 2019 Discovery Integrated Annual Report

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