John Hancock wants to turn life insurance into a wellness game

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John Hancock will give its life insurance coverage prospects a reduction for making an attempt to remain wholesome. They simply want handy over some private knowledge to obtain it.

The monetary providers firm mentioned Wednesday that it’s going to connect a free model of its wellness program, Vitality, to all life insurance coverage insurance policies.

Via this system, prospects can log health and well being info with the corporate in alternate for reductions at locations like Amazon (AMZN) and REI. For an additional $2 per 30 days, prospects obtain a free Fitbit or an Apple Look ahead to $25. In the event that they hit sure targets, they do not must pay extra for the units and might obtain as much as 15% off annual premiums.

The insurer says that the wellness program is altering the best way individuals take into consideration its merchandise.

“I by no means thought anyone would name life insurance coverage enjoyable,” mentioned Brooks Tingle, head of John Hancock’s insurance coverage division.

John Hancock hopes that encouraging and rewarding wholesome conduct will assist prospects dwell longer. The corporate can then earn more money investing premiums whereas deferring the cost of claims.

Within the meantime, it will get a trove of information on policyholders, whereas deepening its relationship with shoppers. The knowledge John Hancock collects might make it simpler to direct life insurance coverage prospects towards different firm merchandise, comparable to retirement plans.

“We’d have interaction with our prospects one or two instances a yr, principally privateness discover and a invoice, and that is it,” mentioned Marianne Harrison, John Hancock’s CEO. “Now we’re partaking with them on an ongoing foundation, and establishing a relationship with our prospects — one thing we actually by no means had earlier than.”

John Hancock, a unit of Canada’s Manulife (MFC), first partnered with Vitality, a wellness agency, in 2015.

Since then, about 40% of shoppers have opted so as to add Vitality to their life insurance coverage insurance policies, Harrison mentioned.

Vitality customers verify in a mean 40 instances per 30 days, in response to Tingle. They’ve the chance to sync their wearable units, or can go into an app to log exercises, physician visits and meditation classes.

Privateness advocates have raised considerations about handing over massive quantities of non-public knowledge to insurance coverage corporations past what’s required to obtain a coverage. They worry that sooner or later, insurers will use the information to lift prices for riskier shoppers. The insurance coverage trade says it is extremely regulated and that it solely intends to make use of the information to supply extra focused experiences for purchasers.

John Hancock maintains that prospects decide in, and solely present the knowledge they’re comfy sharing.

“Should you do not need to embody your physique mass index, you do not have to,” Harrison mentioned.

Clients are instructed upfront precisely what the information can be used for, she added.

The proportion of US households with particular person life insurance coverage insurance policies has stagnated lately, in response to Limra, an trade commerce group.

John Hancock needs its Vitality program to drum up new curiosity, particularly amongst younger individuals, that are much less prone to take into account life insurance coverage a necessity.

CNNMoney (New York) First revealed September 19, 2018: four:58 PM ET

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