Australian domestic and international airline Qantas has announced plans to offer health insurance, powered by nib, to up to 11 million Frequent Flyers. The new joint programme, called Qantas Assure, will launch in the first half of 2016, and has been designed to reward people ‘for being active’ – Qantas Frequent Flyer members who purchase a policy will be invited to download a wellness app, which will sync with popular forms of wearable technology, log the number of steps taken in a day and then deposit points into the customer’s Frequent Flyer account. These points can then be exchanged for flights or items, or put towards health insurance premiums. Travel insurance – which Qantas already offers – will also be featured under the same Qantas Assure umbrella; Qantas Assure itself will now be included under the company’s Qantas Loyalty suite of businesses.
“Qantas Loyalty has evolved beyond a typical airline rewards programme to something that influences the purchasing decisions of millions of people through highly sought after Qantas Points,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. “Qantas Loyalty has shown it knows how to attract, reward and retain members for their choice of airline, credit card or retailer. By partnering with nib, we believe there is a huge opportunity to do the same thing in the A$19-billion private health insurance market and drive significant growth for the Loyalty business.”
Through the deal, nib will provide health insurance, risk assessment and underwriting services while Qantas Loyalty handles the marketing, data and customer retention side of things. Qantas Assure is targeting a two to three-per-cent share of the Australian private health insurance market on a revenue basis for its first half a decade of operations.
Elaborating on the wearable technology aspect of the deal, Joyce said: “This is not about simply earning points when you pay a bill. It’s about offering members the opportunity to be rewarded for being more active, which is something that also has a direct impact on improving your wellness.” Members will have the option to choose from various daily or weekly targets.
Lesley Grant, CEO of Qantas Loyalty, said: “The idea behind Qantas Assure came from our members telling us they want to be rewarded for leading a more active lifestyle. They also want to feel more engaged in the health insurance experience rather than just paying their monthly premium or making a claim. We believe Qantas Assure will create a very different relationship between customers and their health insurance. It’s deliberately different and we think it’s very exciting. When members combine the Qantas points they can earn from literally walking around the block with all the other ways to earn, it becomes a very powerful proposition.”