Following the success of their existing joint venture partnership, Prudential, a leading UK insurance group, and leading South African life and health insurer, Discovery, have announced their intention to substantially enhance their relationship through the roll out of life assurance products into the UK market.
This will be achieved by consolidating their joint venture into a new protection company, jointly owned by Discovery and Prudential, which provisionally will be called PruProtection. It will include two distinct businesses, PruHealth – the existing health insurer, and a newly-formed life assurance company, PruLife.
PruLife will market life assurance products in the UK based on those of Discovery Life, and Prudential’s recent innovation Flexible Protection Plan.
According to Discovery chief executive Adrian Gore, a pilot life assurance product has already been launched in the UK, with an excellent response and strong support for the benefit design. Further development of this protection product will now be possible under PruProtection, and introduce to the UK market the consumer-engaged model that has made Discovery Life so successful in South Africa in recent years.
"The life assurance market in the UK has become very commoditised, with little differentiation in terms of price or benefits. The market is very similar in this way to the private medical insurance market we encountered in the UK before PruHealth was launched in 2004. The integrated approach will offer more differentiation in both price and benefits, as well as offering rewards for policyholders who take steps to improve their health through Vitality, Discovery's market-leading wellness programme. Consumers can look forward to benefits that address their needs, with broad claims definitions and objective claims criteria. Pricing will also be more competitive with flexible funding structures that reflect one's health status.” says Adrian Gore.