“While numerous companies have been emerging to support people with health and wellness, our industry has its own role to play, so it’s important we step up to the plate,” said Dr John Schoonbee, the global chief medical officer at Swiss Re.
“Prevention is better than cure, so by moving beyond a linear, clinical approach to assessing health risks and taking a more holistic view on lifestyle factors, we will be able to develop more bespoke and effective insurance solutions, in turn helping people to pinpoint changes which will have a genuinely positive impact on their lives.”
The five key areas identified by Dr Schoonbee are:
- boosting physical activity
- getting more sleep, but not too much
- conducting research thoroughly before starting a diet
- focusing on mental wellbeing
- managing the environment
Swiss Re added that stress is linked to physical health, resilience against illness, and recovery after illness. Therefore, insurers should not view people’s mental health in isolation.
“While it is hard to prescribe a course of action for better mental wellbeing, the first three factors on this list (activity, sleep, nutrition) have a big impact upon it, so [they] are a good place to start,” Dr Schoonbee said. “By helping people improving in one of the above areas, they will have also taken a step to better protecting their mental health and vice versa.”