May 24, 2017 / 11:33 AM / 2 months ago

South African insurer Discovery launches health insurance brand in Australia

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May 24 (Reuters) - South African insurer Discovery Limited said on Wednesday it will create a health insurance brand in a joint venture with two Australian companies to expand the footprint of its behaviour tracking programme.

Discovery's Vitality programme, which rewards health and life insurance clients for healthy lifestyle choices and helps track their fitness, will be combined in a joint venture with Australia's largest life insurer, AIA Australia, and non-profit health and care company, GMHBA to form myOwn.

The joint health insurance brand will initially offer insurance and AIA Vitality and will later roll out life insurance, the company said.

"Discovery is pleased to join with AIA Australia and GMHBA to bring this innovative health and life insurance offer to Australians to foster happier, healthier lives," Barry Swartzberg, CEO of Vitality Group, a subsidiary of Discovery, said in s statement.

Discovery, which gave no financial details about the deal, is active in 16 countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and China.

Discovery previously partnered with life insurer Sumitomo Life Insurance Co and telecommunications and internet company SoftBank Group Corp to extend its Vitality programme in Japan, as part of its strategy to partner with leading insurers to roll out its wellness programme outside South Africa.

By 1034 GMT shares in Discovery were up 0.89 percent to 130.90 rand. (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg, editing by Ed Osmond)

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