John Hancock Insurance is one of the biggest insurance companies in the country. With more than 150 years, the company is about to change the insurance industry quite radically. From now on, their life policies will require fitness tracking devices. They are looking to help policyholders achieve a healthier and longer live by offering incentives such as discounts and gift cards.
Interactive insurance is not a new concept, since 2015 Vitality Group, John Hancock’s partner, has been implementing this type of insurance. They have gained popularity in South Africa and Britain so far, but the American market is their new target. Many are wondering if this will prove successful, and if so, how it will affect the traditional insurance model.
How Does Fitness Tracking Work?
The insurance company explained on Wednesday Sept 19th that they will offer two different types of interactive insurance policies. Customers will be able to choose between a standard and an expanded policy. Those who chose the first one will need to update their fitness information through a website or mobile app. Those who opt for the expanded one will require a wearable device to track and send their fitness activity.
Once they’re enrolled in one of the policies, they will have different fitness goals to achieve. They will also have the chance to log activities like walking, biking, or swimming. The time they spent at a gym, the amount of calories they consumed during the day, and even the number of daily steps they take will be recorder. This way, policyholders will be able to keep track of their shape.
What Are the Benefits of Fitness Tracking?
In order to motivate customers, the insurance company will offer different types of incentives. Depending on the type of insurance plan that you get, is the type of benefits that you’ll be eligible for. Hancock is offering lower premiums, discounts, and gift cards with different companies and partners, like Amazon, Hotels.com, and more.
Another benefit of this interactive insurance model is your health. As they motivate you to lead a healthier and more active life, they want to give people the extra push they needed to stay in shape. Additionally, John Hancock’s CEO, Marianne Harrison said that those enrolled with Vitality live, in average, 13 to 20 years longer than those who are not a part of the program.
Are There Any Downsides to Fitness Tracking?
Despite the huge success incentive insurance has had in the past few years, this new model has some detractors. Many are worried about the possible discrimination scenarios that could arise due to their health situation. In response to such concerns, John Hancock Insurance has stated that they will not be using medical information to decide on granting a policy. They want to make sure life insurance is available for everybody. They even reference one of their customers with a case of diabetes. According to Harrison, the program helps him improve his diet and stay healthy despite of his condition.
Other worry about the security of such private information, wondering how the insurance company will manage it. Again, Marianne Harrison states that they are already used to handling sensitive data, and have several processes and protocols for information privacy and protection.