One of the biggest insurance companies in the country made an announcement yesterday regarding a major change for the industry. John Hancock will be offering interactive insurance only from now on. This means that the insurance company will offer wearable fitness tracking devices to its customers along with their policies. The main goal of the company is to help policyholders live longer and healthier lives.
The Idea of interactive insurance was first introduced to the market in 2015 by John Hancock partner Vitality. Now, starting on September 20th, all John Hancock Life Insurance policies will follow this innovative model. Privacy advocates, however, worry about how insurance companies will handle and protect their customers’ data.
Fitness Tracking Will Be Mandatory for Life Insurance
We live in an age where smart devices are becoming more and more common in our everyday life. Smart appliances are no longer part of the science fiction genre, and even full smart kitchens are a reality. The innovative idea of interactive life insurance is one more industry change in the list. Aiming at helping their customers become healthier and more active, John Hancock insurance is making fitness tracking devices mandatory.
This is completely changing the way we look at life insurance policies, for sure. Since the very beginning, life insurance focused on policyholders’ death, but now, it seems to be the other way around. Therefore, John Hancock wants their customers to be healthy, to live longer, and to be more aware of their shape. They want to motivate people to exercise more, and they are offering attractive incentives to achieve it.
The Benefits of Fitness Tracking for Policyholders
The first and most obvious benefit of fitness tracking in insurance is that you will have an extra push to stay healthy. How many times have we seen the insurance industry as a heartless business going after our money? Finally, this change in the industry might prove it wrong.
Besides caring for your health, John Hancock is offering lower premiums, discounts, rent-free iWatches, and even gift cards. With such attractive incentives, it is more likely that we’ll feel more motivated to go for that morning run. There is a bit of controversy regarding what the “penalties” will be if we fail to achieve our fitness goals, though. The company has mentioned that thanks to all the regulations the insurance industry is subject to, there is no need to worry about unreasonable or unjustified increases on premiums.
Will Other Insurance Company Follow the Fitness Tracking Model?
It is not completely clear if other insurance companies will follow the fitness tracking model. So far, the South African insurer Vitality has gained popularity among its policyholders. They even state that those who implement the use of fitness tracking through their insurance can live on average around 13 to 20 years more than those who don’t.
There is a lot of controversies, though, surrounding technology-based insurance. Some say that it might cause health-based discrimination. Other add that this model rewards the privileged “white, worried, and well” demographics. The truth is that, if this model turns out to be successful and popular enough, we will definitely see many more companies shifting along.