Discovery taps five new markets in expansion bid

Expanding its footprint into five countries on the continent as it adapts to meet the needs of pan-African companies.
Image: Moneyweb

Discovery, Africa’s second-biggest insurer by market value, is expanding its footprint into five countries on the continent as it adapts to meet the needs of pan-African companies.

Firms with employees in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo can now offer their workers access to Discovery’s health-insurance benefits, Chief Executive Officer Adrian Gore said in an interview.

Those workers will also have access to the insurer’s Vitality programme, which offers discounts to people who keep fit and eat healthily in a bid to lower insurance claims.

“We have launched into five markets and we are running a fairly comprehensive coverage with Vitality,” Gore said at Discovery’s offices in Johannesburg’s financial district.

Discovery has partnered with local insurers in the new markets to ensure they meet regulatory requirements — a business model that has seen the firm expand around the world. Another focus is Asia, where the company has partnered with AIA Group Ltd. to build a new health-insurance technology business.

In South Africa, Discovery is looking to grow its now four-year-old digital bank. The lender has 400 000 customers with deposits of R9.5 billion ($627 million), and is looking to grow that to 700 000 by 2024, when the bank is projected to break even.

“We’ve got leadership in life and health insurance, we’ve got emerging leadership in motor and property and casualty, and I see the bank” as bringing it all together, Gore said.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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