Health insurer offers cheaper deal to the fit

A health insurer is to offer lower premiums to people who work out regularly at the gym.

Under the programme, PruHealth, part of the Prudential group, will offer policyholders discounted membership to fitness companies Cannons and Holmes Place.

In return it will be able to see how many policyholders take up the membership and how often they visit the gym.

This in turn, similar to a supermarket loyalty scheme, will affect their premiums. Policyholders will also be able to claim discounted cinema tickets and cheap flights.

The scheme, which is similar to ones already operating in the US and South Africa, should be up and running in the spring.

There will also be other ways to reduce premiums. Policyholders who give up smoking may also be able to pay less, or those who can show they are effectively managing existing conditions.

For instance, asthma sufferers who are taking all the necessary medical steps to manage their condition will be rewarded, said PruHealth.

PruHealth chief executive Catherine McGrath said: “Virtually all [insurers] raise annual premiums well in excess of inflation without any regard for people who are trying to look after themselves.”

The current system revolves around paying for sickness, not promoting health and well-being. We are going to change that.”

Those who do claim will not necessarily see the following year’s premium rise so long as they make efforts to look after their health, she added.

Equally, people with existing, non-chronic conditions would be covered and be rewarded for taking steps to manage their condition responsibly.

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