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September 20, 2018

John Hancock moves to a health tracker model

By Patrick Brusnahan

American insurance behemoth John Hancock will only offer life insurance options that utilise a health tracker and wearables.

Customers of the John Hancock life insurance will only receive policies that have options with wearables. This leads to paying less on premiums if the customers exercises regularly and the activity is tracked. Moreover, it is powered by Vitality – a behaviour change platform.

The expanded programme will be available in two tiers. Vitality GO is automatically added to all life insurance policies. It provides access to expert fitness and nutritional resources and personalised health goals through the app, health tracker, and website. In addition, there are limited discounts with retail partners.

However, policyholders can upgrade to Vitality PLUS for $2 a month, but that includes savings of up to 15% on annual premiums and more valuable rewards, such as discounts to hotels and a year’s membership to Amazon Prime.

In addition, this tier can earn an Apple Watch for $25 or a complimentary Fitbit device.

Keeping healthy

John Hancock life insurance has offered Vitality options since 2015. Furthermore, promoting a healthy lifestyle helps the firm as those who live longer are more likely to pay premiums over time.

According to Vitality, worldwide Vitality policyholders have shown to live 13-21 years longer than the rest of the insured population. In addition, they generate 30% lower hospitalisation costs than the rest of the insured population.

“For centuries, the insurance model has primarily provided financial protection for families after death, without enhancing the very quality it hinges on: life,” said Marianne HarrisonJohn Hancock president and CEO. “We fundamentally believe life insurers should care about how long and well their customers live. With this decision, we are proud to become the only U.S. life insurance company to fully embrace behavioural-based wellness and leave the old way of doing business behind.”

“The remarkable results of our Vitality offering convinced us this is the only path forward for the industry,” said Brooks Tingle, president and CEO of John Hancock Insurance. “We have smart phones, smart cars and smart homes. It’s time for smart life insurance that meets the changing needs of consumers. We believe offering Vitality on all life insurance policies, at no additional cost, is the right thing to do for our customers, our business and society. We believe this is the future of our industry, and I encourage other insurance companies to follow suit.”

According to MuleSoft, nearly half (44%) of global consumers would be happy for insurance providers to use third-party data from the likes of Facebook and/or collect data about them from health monitoring apps and smart home devices, if it led to lower premiums. Yet in the UK, this fell to just over a third (36%).

The younger generation (18-34-year-olds) were particularly open to this – almost two-thirds (62%) said they’d be happy for insurers to use their personal data in this way.

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