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Annette's Story: "I saw it as a chance to kickstart a new me"

Published: 30/05/2022

After following the advice of her financial adviser and buying into the Vitality Programme, Annette has lost three-and-a-half stone and run numerous 5Ks. She hasn’t looked back since.

On purchasing a property in 2014, Annette, now in her fifties, was referred by her accountant to financial adviser Anthony Baynham, HB&O Financial Services director, in pursuit of some financial protection. A Vitality member himself, Anthony suggested she opt for Life Cover with Optimiser to cover her mortgage.

“I tend to recommend Vitality if I think a client is really going to buy into it and take on the rewards for being active,” he tells Vitality Adviser Insights Hub. “That was something that became apparent when talking it through with Annette. I said to her, ‘I’ve looked all these different types of policies and this one is coming out as good value for money [due to lower premium through Optimiser], however the cost might go up if you don’t buy into the rewards programme and stay active’. Annette assured me she would."

The nudge she needed

The timing of this was just right for Annette. While on holiday in Berlin with friends, she’d felt self-conscious and unhappy about her appearance. “At that time, I was the most overweight and the least fit out of my friends, and I felt very uncomfortable (and old) while walking around. So, when Anthony mentioned Vitality, it turned a switch in my head. I realised I could save money on my premiums, enjoy the rewards and become more active and get fitter too. It could be really good for me, I thought.”

As a competitive person who strives to achieve in life, Annette saw this an opportunity to kickstart a new version of herself, using the summer months as her springboard.

She bought a wearable fitness device available through the plan following a conversation with Anthony, who even gave her some help to set it up. As a teacher, Annette used the school holidays to start swimming at the local fitness centre. Her next challenge was to try Couch to 5K. “Without Anthony sowing the seed like he did during that initial conversation about the insurance, I am not sure I’d have been able to do it.”

"When I finished my first 5k I cried, because I didn’t think I could do it. I was just so emotional. I even wrote an email to Anthony to say, ‘I can’t believe I’ve done this'"

Annette became hooked on watching her activity points go up, boosting them by doing her annual health review and declaring herself as a non-smoker, alongside other healthy behaviours. “When I first reached Platinum, I was really pleased with myself,” she remembers. “I still get a kick, even now, when I get my 40 points each week.”

The thought of not achieving maximum points would motivate Annette to go out running or walking, even if it was raining. Annette even found herself walking round the garden just to get enough steps to hit the daily target when she had Covid and leaving the house wasn’t an option. “It’s become a bit of an obsession,” she laughs.

Shared value

For Anthony too, as an adviser and an ex-fitness instructor, the Vitality Programme is a powerful concept. Members who engage with the Vitality Programme are 10% more likely to improve their health across seven key lifestyle factors 1. This allows him to explain to clients that everyone wins if they get involved. “I tell my clients it works both ways.” Not only does it bring down the chance of a claim needing to be made – because they are more likely to stay happy and healthy - it also delivers tangible value from day one. “When offering Vitality, I have so much more to talk about with clients, it perks me up,” he says.


Healthy habits

For Annette, it’s more than improved fitness that she’s benefited from. “It has also given me the strength to not only lose weight where in the past I would have put it on again. I’ve been able to stay slim by setting goals and sticking to them. I managed to lose three-and-a-half stone. I’ve changed my entire lifestyle and I genuinely believe it has all been connected.” By sticking close to the Vitality Programme, Annette is confident she can keep healthy habits locked in place for the long-term and keep pushing herself to do more. “It’s like I’m a totally different person these days,” she beams.

In a recent article, Greg Levine, Managing Director, Sales and Distribution, dispelled some common misconceptions about the Vitality Programme. Read it here.

Find out how you can help your clients get active with the Vitality Programme and improve their life as a result.

Find out more about how indexation works and why it is a good idea for your clients, especially at this time.

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    Our Insights Hub brings you our range of adviser content - from video series to articles & blogs.

Physical activity, sleep, healthy eating, alcohol intake, smoking, BMI and mental health, based on Vitality data.