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Life Insurers To Track Health Habits For Discounted Rates, Rewards

Life Insurers To Track Health Habits For Discounted Rates, Rewards

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More than ever, life insurance companies are now able to track a policyholder’s overall health, from fitness to eating habits and sleep, using various electronic methods. Tracking this data via online can lead to discounts on Apple Watches, hotel rooms, healthy groceries and other incentives.

If you’ve been on the fence about life insurance, here’s a new perk that may change your outlook. According to Money, many life insurance companies are now offering fitness and health deals for individuals. Policyholders currently have a number of options to choose from in comparison to previous years, as long as they release information about their fitness and health habits to their insurer via technology. 

For instance, John Hancock’s Vitality program provides points gained just for home or gym workouts or walking. “Vitality” points go towards earning discounts for purchasing grocery store items (healthy of course) and other amenities. Members can sign up for Hancock’s Vitality GO or Vitality PLUS wellness reward programs. Participating in these programs are optional and premiums aren’t negatively affected by how often a member’s active engagement. Vitality PLUS Members can also become eligible to receive Apple watches for “as little as $25 per tax” based on a successful membership activation and the competition of a Vitality Health review. 

Another popular life insurance program is Sproutt. Sproutt aggregates the right life insurance plan for each person who signs up based on filling out their healthy living questionnaire. A Quality of Life index is compiled based on the person’s answers, along with “personalized advice” and discounted rates. One’s movement, sleep, emotional health, nutrition and work/life balance are all factored into the policyholder’s QL Index score. This, in turns, gives clients the best life insurance policies and rates based on their own unique health and wellness needs. 

Sproutt president Assaf Henkin told Money that the company intends to include “ongoing fitness data into policy pricing and coverage.” Henkin explains, “Let’s say you quality for a $1 million benefit under the other factors, and pay 100 bucks a month. Because you’re fitter than most, we might increase that benefit to $1.2 million but still charge you only the $100.”   

In 2015, John Hancock first made headlines for its Vitality program as it was offering free Fitbit devices for new signees at the time. Anyone wearing the Fitbit monitors would have their exercise and sleep observed by the insurance company in exchange for deductions towards Royal Caribbean cruises and Whole Foods grocery trips. 

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With the emergence of life insurance incentive programs such as John Hancock’s and Sproutt’s, the question of privacy has become a concern. In 2018, John Hancock Insurance President and CEO Brooks Tingle told The Verge that their priority would be making sure customers live healthier lives and placing their health information in the safest of hands. “The insurance industry is the most logical setting for wellness,” he began.  

“We have relationships with customers that average 20 years and we make no bones about the fact that we stand to benefit if our customers live longer… The additional data elements we’re talking about – things like steps taken or whether you took an online nutrition course – is pretty small and inconsequential compared to the data we already have,” added Tingle. 

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