With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to affect every facet of our society, Discovery is taking a proactive stance in encouraging clients to vaccinate themselves; and in so doing, help South Africa achieve its goal of herd immunity.
Now, as a market first, Discovery Life is using behavioural economics to encourage new clients to get vaccinated.
When taking out a new qualifying policy with Discovery Life, clients can get as much as their first years’ worth of premiums back, guaranteed.
With life insurance arguably more important than ever, Discovery Life is encouraging clients to make the responsible choice in terms of vaccinating themselves, as well as ensuring that they and their families are financially secure.
Discovery Life – the first insurer to incorporate the importance of vaccination against COVID-19 into product design and the underwriting process
Discovery Life has seen the significant impact that the COVID-19 virus has had and continues to have on our clients.
The presence of the COVID-19 virus significantly increases clients’ mortality risk regardless of their age.
In fact, the business has received life cover claims in every age band. Furthermore after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to Discovery Life data, there is a substantial increase in a client’s mortality risk.
For example, a mid-40-year-old client has a 10-times higher mortality risk after being diagnosed with COVID-19 relative to their pre-COVID risk.
Therefore, Discovery Life recognises both the importance and benefits of vaccination, and would therefore like to encourage clients to make the healthy choice of getting vaccinated.
“For all new clients who take up one of our qualifying life plans, a benefit will be offered to recognise the value of vaccinations in reducing risk,” says Discovery Life Chief Executive, Riaan van Reenen.
“The Vaccination Max PayBack Offer is the first of its kind, in that it incorporates the impact of vaccinations into our risk pricing structures at the underwriting stage.”
“All clients who have been vaccinated or commit to being vaccinated can get up to 100% in premium PayBack accumulation – the Shared-value mechanism built into the design of our life plans – at the first anniversary of their new policy.” van Reenen explains further.
South Africa’s vaccination programme is well underway, with all 18-year and older lives being eligible for vaccination from 1 September 2021, effectively covering the entire insured population.
To date, South Africa has administered more than 7 million vaccine doses, with the rate of vaccinations accelerating.
“The third wave of COVID-19 saw the number of daily confirmed infections reach 26 500 at its peak.”
“This far exceeds the 22 000 daily confirmed cases during the peak of the second wave,” explains van Reenen.
“Hospital admissions during the third wave have surpassed those experienced during the peak of the second wave.”
“By isolating the components of what drives a COVID-19 wave, we can reduce the negative outcomes of each wave.”
“We can target controllable influential factors and focus on the various means that help to minimize their impact.”
“Vaccinations are an important factor here – especially while the Delta variant is so dominant.”
“We know that the Delta variant is 97% more transmissible than the original lineage of this virus.”
“By comparison to the Beta variant, it is between 30-60% more transmissible. It has also led to more hospitalisations due to more infections,” adds van Reenen.
Vaccinations work – and are backed by science
Scientifically documented evidence across the world is increasingly showing the efficacy of vaccines while managing infection caseloads.
Both infection and mortality rates are declining as the number of vaccination administrations increase.
“Data from the UK shows that after just one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, one of the standard vaccines being used in South Africa, the likelihood of hospitalisation after contracting the Delta variant is reduced by as much as 94%.”
After the second dose, risk is reduced to as much as 96%,” says van Reenen.
“Discovery Health data also currently indicates that clients have a 47% lower COVID-19 risk within three weeks of receiving their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. This shows that the continued rollout of the vaccine will yield ever-improving outcomes for the entire population,” he adds.
“Discovery’s Shared-value model rewards clients for making healthy decisions and controlling their underlying risk.”
“By preventing the possible morbidity and mortality outcomes of COVID-19, our clients create an actuarial surplus which can then be shared back with them.”
“Shared-value clearly manifests when a client makes the responsible decision to get vaccinated, and this is largely why we have taken the decision to recognise the reduction in risk.”
“While we hope that all our clients will choose to get vaccinated, those who indicate otherwise may be subject to a health loading on their premium depending on their age and risk profile”
“Getting the vaccine benefits clients by enabling them to continue leading a healthier life and best support loved ones. It benefits us as an insurer by enabling higher insurance savings and lower mortality, by extension, South African society from a broader perspective with far lower transmissibility rates and a reduced burden on the healthcare system.”
“We believe, based on international clinical data as well as our own at Discovery, that if we can positively influence clients to take this all important step to receive their vaccination, we can not only collectively help ease this latest infection wave, but also reach a much healthier outcome as a nation – sooner, rather than later.”
“Our quality of life, economy and livelihoods depend on it,” van Reenen concludes.
Discovery Life Limited. Registration number 1966/003901/06, is a licensed insurer, and an authorised financial services and registered credit provider, NCR Reg No. NCRCP3555. Product rules, terms and conditions apply.
A client’s maximum possible PayBack is dependent on their policy structure. All clients with the offer, who have PayBacks on their policy, will get the maximum possible accumulation for the first year.