Insurers offer perks for healthy living

SINGAPORE - The idea of rewarding insurance policyholders with lower premiums if they are healthy is catching on with insurers here.

AIA Singapore launched AIA Vitality last week, a "wellness programme". It provides customers with tools to help them develop a healthier lifestyle. The policy offers discounts for the duration of a customer's policy as they get healthier.

According to the AIA Vitality Age Survey 2012, Singaporeans are four years "older" in health terms than their actual age. Poor lifestyle choices were to blame.

The Vitality programme was developed by a South African health insurer, Discovery Holdings, and has more than five million members worldwide. It has helped members reduce health-care costs, which is what AIA Vitality hopes to do as well.

Members gain access to free online wellness tools and discounted health screenings at participating health clinics and pharmacies. New members get a 5 per cent discount off the first year's premium if they buy selected policies such as AIA Secure Term Plus.

Along the way, they can earn points as they meet health goals - and this gives them up to 15 per cent off their insurance premiums.

Ms Melita Teo, chief business development officer of AIA Vitality, said the discount percentages "may increase or decrease depending on the 'Vitality Status' of the member as at 45 days before the policy anniversary" - or 45 days before policy renewal.

Great Eastern is also offering cash for health, with its three-year Live Great Healthy Rewards scheme launched earlier this year, for customers who have one of three Life Supreme Term policies.

If a customer is deemed healthy by a medical professional, a cash reward of up to 15 per cent of his policy's premium, up to $2,000, will be given in the first year.

If the customer stays healthy for three years in a row, the cash reward will be upped to 30 per cent of his premium, up to $2,000.

Other insurers offer health-related incentives.

Tokio Marine Life Insurance Singapore has TM Legacy Plus, which customers can buy with an Early- Care Rider. This offers customers a payout of $100 every two years that they can spend on a gym membership, health checks or anything health-related.

Business consultant Lincoln Mah, 30, may consider signing up for programmes like AIA Vitality. "Since I exercise regularly, it will motivate me to keep fit while saving more and getting rewarded at the same time."

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