From the Sumitomo/Society Interface

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Sumitomo Life Insurance
Discounted insurance premiums
incentivize healthy lifestyles

Akiko Itou
Brand Communication Department
Sumitomo Life Insurance

Ken Imaya
Territory Manager parkrun

New insurance product that reduces the risk itself

The first parkrun in Japan was held this spring. Many volunteers support parkrun (top). Runners’ times are recorded and managed using barcodes (lower left). As parkrun is managed based on the same platform throughout the world, it is easy for foreigners living in Japan and tourists visiting Japan to join in the fun (lower right).

The trend is toward longevity but in order to live a long healthy life, it is essential to make it a habit to keep fit, which means taking exercise. But many people find it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The SUMITOMO LIFE Vitality Shared-Value Insurance launched by Sumitomo Life Insurance gives these people big incentives.

"Whereas conventional life insurance products are designed to ensure readiness to encounter risk, the purpose of this product is to reduce the actual risk as the insurance premiums vary depending on the policyholder’s commitment to maintaining a healthy lifestyle," explains Akiko Itou.

Taking the opportunity of the release of Vitality, Sumitomo Life Insurance launched a project for creation of shared value with society by focusing on extending healthy life expectancy. As part of this project, the company is providing comprehensive support for introducing and promoting “parkrun,” which originated in the UK, in Japan. “parkrun is a weekly event held every Saturday morning in parks. Anyone can take part, either running or walking to complete a 5km course. Because they are weekly events, parkrun is a great help for people who want to take exercise regularly. Everything is free from registration to participation and there is no restriction as to age or time. I hope people won’t hesitate to take part in parkrun as a fun thing to do, just as they do with ‘radio exercises’ in Japan,” says Ken Imaya.

A characteristic of parkrun is that it is not a competitive event but community event open to everyone. Research findings indicate that participating in parkrun as a runner or volunteer has a beneficial impact on mental health as well because it gives people a sense of being part of the community.

SUMITOMO LIFE Vitality and parkrun encourage healthy habits. Going forward, it will be interesting to see how they both develop.

Reprinted from SUMITOMO QUARTERLY NO.158

Number(From the Sumitomo/Society Interface)