Justin Taurog, PruProtect's distribution and marketing director, discusses Vitality, customer health and the adviser market with Paul Robertson.
Justin Taurog, distribution and marketing director at PruProtect, is a South African. Although he was recruited from within the UK, it sometimes seems that most of the senior management of both PruProtect and PruHealth are from Africa.
This is far from true, of course. But it cannot be denied there are still close ties with parent company Discovery, which is successful in the South African market with health insurance, life insurance, investments, credit cards and, now, car insurance.
Few would deny that in British markets, PruProtect is ploughing its own furrow, with product designs that vary considerably from the norm.
So it would be remiss not to ask what degree of influence South Africa still has on PruProtect. Taurog is open that there is a huge influence, but adds it was a case of adapting South African methods for the UK market, rather than direction from abroad.
“The UK market is different,” he says. “Vitality, for example, was one of the key drivers in the early days for Discovery in terms of getting the awareness and driving product innovation.
“For example, Discovery has launched recently in South African car insurance. Within that, Vitality has been adapted to look at what behaviours influence insurance risk and influence people’s behaviour, then using Vitality to drive changing behaviour. These mechanics can then be used in your insurance premium and managing behaviour.
“So it is all about behavioural change. Vitality drives the behavioural change because it measures and monitors. It drives everything we do in PruProtect, PruHealth and Discovery.”
Vitality aside, PruProtect is also known, to a degree, for complexity in its product design – partial payments and product integrations being just two examples.
Taurog has an interesting justification for this: “If you look at the market, insurance is getting cheaper and cheaper. With the price coming down, you would think people would buy more insurance. But what has actually happened is people are buying less. It has become very transactional.
“That said, our whole philosophy is that if we can innovate, if we can integrate that product and also give the adviser something to go back to the client down the line, then that is going to be one of the drivers that will help close the protection gap.
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