Discovery enters insurance market

Johannesburg - Health insurance group Discovery Holdings [JSE:DSY] has entered the R50bn South African short-term insurance market with the launch of Discovery Insure.

Discovery CEO Adrian Gore said it had studied the market for a number of years was optimistic about bringing about "structural change."

"Discovery clients have come to expect compelling product innovation that meet their needs. We are confident that with Discovery Insure we will encourage consumers to change their behaviour and reap rewards for it," he said.

He said Discovery Insure aimed to reduce the cost of insurance through "positive behavioural change", to channel actuarial and risk management savings to reduce the cost of fuel for clients, and to help make the roads safer.

It will provide incentives to customers to encourage better driving and will work with partners such as the BP fuel network, Tiger Wheel & Tyre, and its VitalityDrive programme.

Discovery Insure is led by industry veteran Steffen Gilbert.

"I am delighted to head up a new business within the Discovery fold that we see improving the level of competitiveness in the market by rewarding members, not penalising consumers. Innovation has been a hallmark of Discovery's growth, and we intend to stay true to that ethos with Discovery Insure," he said.

Discovery Insure will offer comprehensive vehicle, personal and household cover.

Rory Byrne, special engineering adviser to Discovery Insure who has led the design of Formula 1 cars for 30 years, said: "A good driver understands their abilities and the capabilities of their vehicle. Slow drivers are not necessarily good drivers, and vice versa. Gender does not play any role - good driving is within anyone's grasp."

VitalityDrive is Discovery Insure's incentive programme that will reward clients for improving their driving. By activating VitalityDrive, clients get rewards on their BP fuel spend and completing a Tiger Wheel & Tyre annual multipoint check boosts the fuel rewards. DiscoveryCard holders will get additional rewards.

Discovery Insure goes live with its product on June 1 2011. The group now operates in the short-term, health and life insurance, long-term savings and investments, wellness and credit card markets. 

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