Update of September 24: The Reuters report that is the basis for this post generated a lot of misunderstanding. I reached out to the life insurer, and am posting their statement under the original report. Please be sure to read it.
John Hancock, one of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead sell only interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones, the company said on Wednesday.
The move by the 156-year-old insurer, owned by Canada’s Manulife Financial, marks a major shift for the company, which unveiled its first interactive life insurance policy in 2015. It is now applying the model across all of its life coverage.
h/t, Infowarrior mailing list
Update: On second and third reading, there is much about this report that is somewhat confusing as to whether future customers will be required to consent to either logging, using an app, or wearing a device, or if they can choose to have a policy but decline to log, track, or be monitored. I expect we’ll see some follow-up reporting on this issue.
Update of September 24: Here is John Hancock’s response to this site’s inquiries:
At John Hancock, we fundamentally believe life insurers should help their
customers live longer and healthier lives. That’s why we’re now offering
Vitality, a tech-enabled wellness platform that rewards customers for the
everyday things they do to be healthy, on all of our life insurance policies.
Participation is voluntary and customers can earn rewards for doing a variety
of things, from walking to seeing their doctor to buying healthy foods to
taking online nutrition courses. Although current customers have
overwhelmingly said they enjoy the convenience of seamlessly sharing their
physical activity through wearable devices and smartphones, wearables are a
completely optional part of the John Hancock Vitality program. Our customers
can choose how much information they want to share with us and how they do it.
The most important thing for us is that with this past week’s announcement,
we’ve provided access to wellness resources for all of our customers, at no
additional cost to them.