John Hancock's new program offers discounts and incentive rewards to members who share data on their lifestyle activities. Fred Katayama reports.
A new way of getting cheaper life insurance: let your insurer monitor your health and collect data on you. John Hancock just launched a program that gives policy holders discounts and shopping and travel rewards to physically active members who share their health data. The program is reportedly aimed at kick-starting sluggish sales of life insurance by dangling discounts of 10 percent or more. It works like this. Policy holders get a free Fitbit fitness tracking device that monitors their activity. They accumulate points by being physically active and leading a healthy lifestyle. For example, they earn points for things like getting annual health check-ups, exercising, and staying away from cigarettes. Take online courses on health and you get more points. Those points translate into one of four tiered status levels that then determine how much you save on future premiums and what rewards you get. Hancock teamed up with the South African financial services firm, Discovery, which runs similar discount and rewards program overseas. Besides saving on life insurance premiums, it says its members save on hospital costs because they have lower admission rates and shorter hospital stays than non-members.