A Brand Promise Like No Other
Text by Sara Pathirana
Have you ever taken a moment to think about what you would do if you suddenly fell ill with a serious condition and then to find yourself faced with the dilemma of meeting the costs of your hospitalisation, or that of a loved one? Or are you one of those people who are trying to work on that resolution you keep on renewing each year in the hopes of eating better and working out towards a healthier you?
Yes, many of us get stuck with that mentality and sometimes, irrespective of how much we make for a living, we tend to overlook the fact that, one day, the probability of us being faced with a health issue is high and we may find ourselves having to worry about how we would face medical costs should a time such as that ever arise.
As part of their brand promise, AIA Sri Lanka which is a part of AIA Group, the second largest insurer in the world as well as the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group had embarked on their goal of dispelling the traditional approach of the ‘you die – we pay’ model and instead, focusing on spreading awareness and uplifting the public’s perception of living a healthier and better life.
So, instead of simply inviting the public to pay premiums on their insurance, AIA has moved a step forward and initiated a range of products aimed towards ensuring that their customers not only live healthier lives but also live their lives to the fullest.
So, it isn’t every day that we see an insurance brand coming forward with the hopes of encouraging the public to embrace a more health-focused lifestyle and helping them live longer and better lives. Following the release of recent findings for Sri Lanka statistics by the AIA Healthy Living Index, these findings provide an insight into the public’s outlook and concerns pertaining to their health and overall healthy living across the Asian Pacific.
The findings showed the existence of a ‘critical illness finance gap’ which means that Sri Lankans are concerned that all their income and savings put together will be insufficient to fund medical care for a critical illness such as cancer, diabetes or heart disease. The findings also highlighted the level of satisfaction amongst the Sri Lankan public, displaying a level of dissatisfaction when it came to their overall health expectations.
Another finding was that there is a decrease in the number of people turning towards exercise as well as seeking regular medical check-ups as part of a healthy lifestyle routine. The average claimed number of hours of exercise per week in Sri Lanka has dropped from 2.1 hours per week in 2016 to 1.4 hours; this being the lowest average from any of the 18 AIA markets surveyed.
Reasons such as lack of time and limited finances played a role in elevating the mind-sets of many Sri Lankans to either shy away from making the time to exercise or even think that they simply feel healthy enough to not bother attending a medical check-up. However, according to the AIA Healthy Living Index, 41% of those surveyed were either very concerned or extremely concerned about being faced with high medical costs to treat a critical illness if such a situation ever arises.
As a customer-centric insurance provider, AIA is heavily focused on their different approach towards enhancing their products from the point of view of how and what is more relevant for the customer in this day and age. AIA surveys had taken into account the alarming lifestyle habits of Sri Lankans where statistics have shown contributory factors such as unhealthy eating, overt tobacco and alcohol consumption and lack of physical engagement as leading agents for an increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart attacks, diabetes and cancer amongst growing numbers of Sri Lankans.
These types of NCDs have not only been responsible for 75% of deaths in Sri Lanka but have also contributed towards 63% of deaths worldwide. AIA has therefore, built a range of comprehensive products with the aim of encouraging the public to not only live longer and healthier lives but also to help them improve their quality of life in the process.
What AIA’s research shows is that people’s main motive for staying fit and healthy are their families and loved ones. AIA’s recent campaign featuring AIA’s global brand ambassador David Beckham (who epitomizes health, wellness, fitness and family life) highlights how people are motivated by their kids and families to become better versions of themselves. It is this insight that AIA values the most, as the insurer moves forward in their journey of helping people live healthier, longer and better lives.
With the aim of encouraging more Sri Lankans to adopt active and fit lifestyles, AIA Sri Lanka introduced AIA Vitality, a wellness app that has been designed with the aim of linking it up with a fitness band or device such as a Fitbit or Mi band and monitoring daily activity. Irrespective of whether you have any of these fitness bands on your person, the app can be downloaded and linked to a fitness app on your smartphone such as S health for Android users and Apple Health for iPhone users. The app then functions as an entity to entice people to walk more whilst also getting rewarded for meeting a set target.
When you sign up for AIA Vitality, the user can calculate their actual body age or ‘Vitality Age’ by completing a Vitality Test. A weekly target would then be assigned to achieve either by walking more or by simply getting more active in the process. You can reap the benefits through rewards where you would be entitled to receive prizes such as movie tickets, shopping vouchers etc. from partner organizations who are in collaboration with AIA Sri Lanka.
AIA Vitality has also initiated the AIA Vitality Wellness Days for Corporates where AIA Sri Lanka representatives would conduct a day of wellness related activities for a corporate company which includes segments such as free BMI check-ups, virtual medical consultations, sessions by medical experts, free fitness sessions, access to subsidized ‘Fitbit’ fitness bands, the chance to try out the ‘Bike n Blend – your own juice’ bike and receiving email communication regarding health tips, motivational videos etc.
Initiations such as these allow corporate professionals to not only have the chance to attribute a change of routine and lifestyle but also helps to boost energy levels at work, increase productivity and help bring recognition for the implementation of wellness initiatives of this calibre across the country.