John Hancock plans to only sell life insurance packages that offer incentives to customers who wear a smart watch and track their health data.

The company started offering an “interactive” life insurance policy called “Vitality” back in 2015. Soon all John Hancock life insurance policyholders will be switched to that program, which offers discounts and gift cards to anyone willing to track their health information. Wearing a smart device is not mandatory to keep your insurance.

Here’s Suzanne Barlyn, writing for Reuters:

Policyholders score premium discounts for hitting exercise targets tracked on wearable devices such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch and get gift cards for retail stores and other perks by logging their workouts and healthy food purchases in an app.

In theory, everybody wins, as policyholders are incentivized to adopt healthy habits and insurance companies collect more premiums and pay less in claims if customers live longer.

Privacy advocates will obviously disagree with the “everybody wins” angle, as the article points out. But insurance companies have every incentive to collect as much data about policyholders as possible. I think these sorts of “incentives” will become increasingly mandatory over time, barring some sort of legislation.

Justin Pot Justin Pot
Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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