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The power of shared value in life and health insurance

15 May 2023

Federico Spagnoli, Vice President of International Total Wellness Solutions for Prudential International Insurance, explains how Prudential’s tech-based partnership with Vitality Group is helping people in Latin America reduce risk factors and lead healthier lives. 

Could you briefly describe Prudential’s life and health insurance activities and its growing role in Latin America?

Prudential is a global financial services company with a strong presence in the Latin American market. The company offers a wide range of products in the region, including individual and group life insurance, supplemental health insurance, and pension plans. A multichannel distribution strategy, which includes the highly successful Life Planner model and partnerships with financial institutions, has resulted in steady market-share growth since the 1990s. Prudential is now the largest nonbank life insurer in Brazil and, since 2016, has risen from No. 8 to No. 2 by market share in Argentina.

What are the health and wellness challenges in Latin America?

Latin America has experienced positive population growth along with some negative trends. Like other parts of the world, Latin America is also grappling with the effects of an ageing population, poor lifestyles, and health care costs that continue to rise. This only compounds the existing challenge of trying to maintain good health and a decent standard of living over a lifetime. 

And what has been the technology response and uptake?

There is growing insurtech and fintech investment in health and lifestyle solutions that can be linked to insurance products. In response to the challenges associated with ageing, mental health, and lifestyles that are known to precipitate disability and disease, Prudential has developed a Total Wellness programme in partnership with providers such as Vitality. 

Could you tell us more about the partnership between Prudential and Vitality?

Our goal is to help Latin Americans live healthier, longer lives. We know through research that when people are healthy across all dimensions - financial, mental and physical - the benefits extend beyond the individual. This is why Prudential created a dedicated entity to orchestrate a holistic wellness ecosystem, and partnering with Vitality was a critical first step.

Vitality has deep expertise in encouraging healthy behaviours through incentives and rewards, and this partnership allows Prudential to leverage its expertise, technology and data capabilities to develop innovative wellness programmes that address the whole person. Positively changing people’s behaviour will also allow the insurance and health care industries to realise greater value.

What does the shared value model of insurance look like?

The shared value model of insurance is a new, mutually beneficial model for insurers and their customers. The premise is that by incentivising people to adopt healthier habits and reduce their personal risk factors, insurance companies would potentially receive fewer claims and customers would potentially pay lower premiums. The model is driven by participant engagement, involving continual monitoring and reward programmes for improved lifestyles. Prevention and protection are the goals. By prioritising health and wellness, insurers can create a virtuous circle that benefits both insurers and customers, while also benefiting society as a whole.

What technology tools and solutions support the shared value concept?

Data is at the heart of the shared value concept. To support the model, we are creating an open, data-driven ecosystem that is device agnostic. We collect data from a variety of devices including smartphones and wearables such as smart watches and fitness trackers. We are already drawing on 200 new data fields in addition to data typically gathered for an insurance policy - and that’s just scratching the surface of what’s possible in the future.

Currently in development, to be released later this year, is a super app that includes biometrics to record customers’ vital signs. What we’ll gain in return is information beyond that recorded by wearables - sleeping scores, for instance. Identifying early warning signs of disease is fundamental to prevention, and we can link those warnings to telemedicine services and other remedial measures to help reduce risks. When we marry these data troves with advanced analytics and machine learning, the insights we gain will help us tailor our products and services in ways that are best suited to care for customers’ individual needs and drive positive behaviours. 

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