John Hancock Makes Smartwatches Central To Life Insurance Business 09/20/2018

John Hancock makes fitness tracking 'mandatory' for insurance

John Hancock, one of the oldest U.S life insurers, is to drop its previous business model and pair all existing policies with the tech-driven Vitality platform.

An global partner of John Hancock, insurance brand Vitality, poularized interactive programs by offering discounted wearable devices with its policies, BBC News reported.

"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 Harrison, John Hancock President and Chief Executive Officer.

The information John Hancock collects could make it easier to direct life insurance customers toward other company products, such as retirement plans.

They will receive gift cards and other rewards for completing goals. Privacy advocates worry that insurers will use tracking data to punish customers who don't meet exercise targets, and some called John Hancock's announcement "creepy" and "dystopian".

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However, the insurance industry says it is tightly regulated and must be able to justify rate increases or policy changes.

John Hancock said that it was too early to know whether it was paying fewer claims because of Vitality programs.

After its initial success, California's fifth-largest life insurer is now including the program in all its life insurance policies at no additional cost. The company says they can also live between 13 and 20 years longer and have 30 percent lower medical expenses.

John Hancock's USA life insurance customers can choose from a basic Vitality program in which customers log their activity in an app or website and can receive gift cards for major retailers after reaching their milestones, or an expanded program that offers wearable devices and discounts of up to 15 percent on premiums, among other benefits, the company said.

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