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.
Moving forward, John Hancock Vitality will utilise wearable technology to incentivise healthier choices linked to physical activity, nutrition and mindfulness.
“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.
“We fundamentally believe life insurers should care about how long and well their customers live. With this decision, we are proud to become the only U.S. life insurance company to fully embrace behavioural-based wellness and leave the old way of doing business behind.”
The insurer cites an increase in lifestyle diseases over recent years as a driver for the change.
According to the Oxford Health Alliance, physical inactivity, an unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol and smoking, now cause more than 60% of deaths and 80% of the disease burden globally.
“The remarkable results of our Vitality offering convinced us this is the only path forward for the industry,” said Brooks Tingle, President and CEO of John Hancock Insurance.
“We have smartphones, smart cars and smart homes. It’s time for smart life insurance that meets the changing needs of consumers. We believe offering Vitality on all life insurance policies, at no additional cost, is the right thing to do for our customers, our business and society.”
John Hancock Vitality Life Insurance now offers new and existing customers Vitality GO and Vitality PLUS.
Vitality GO will be offered at no additional cost. With the basic version of the program, consumers will have access to expert fitness and nutritional resources and personalised health goals through an app and website.
The company says Vitality PLUS costs $2 a month and includes savings of up to 15% on annual premiums plus rewards for exercising, eating well and getting regular medical checkups. Policyholders can earn an Apple Watch for $25 plus tax or receive a complimentary Fitbit device to make it easy to record their healthy activities.
“Poor eating and other unhealthy lifestyles have created an epidemic of preventable, chronic disease, hurting American families and businesses,” added says Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, Dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy, Tufts University.
“John Hancock should be applauded for extending its Vitality program to focus on healthier food and lifestyles across its portfolio. Recognizing the complexities and confusion over good nutrition, John Hancock is collaborating with the Friedman School to ensure that strong science informs these efforts.”