Should You Give Life Insurance Companies Access to Your Fitness Tracker?

Are life insurance companies pushing it by asking for the data on your fitness trackers? Well, whether you’re for it or against it, John Hancock Financial is one company that it’s doing just that. Policyholders who allow them to access information from their fitness trackers will be provided with the incentive for lower rates.

The CEO, Brooks Tingle, was in no way shy about the reasoning behind this plan when he told the New York Times, “The longer people live, the more money we make.”

Life insurance policy rates are based heavily on lifestyle, as well as health history and age. When a policyholder passes away, not only does the life insurance company have to pay a large sum of money, but they also lose ongoing payments.

About the Vitality Program

John Hancock will attach this optional program to all its policies, but the company actually established it in 2015. It’s called Vitality, and it allowed policyholders to win gift cards or receive discounts after a certain amount of gym sessions or healthy food purchases. When it launched, agents offered it as a separate program that you could add to your policy, but now it will become a part of every plan they provide. You can still choose to deny John Hancock access to your fitness, but the policyholders who agree can score discounts on their premiums when they hit certain fitness goals. They also get the original gift card and discount benefits of the program.

So Should You Do It?

If you’re still skeptical about data breaches or just not keen on giving up your fitness habits, maybe we can offer some insight. Here’s the thing; the negative publicity for abuse of your data could crush the company’s reputation and severely damage their future business. Plus, having lower premiums for doing what we should be doing anyway? That sounds like a win-win to us. Yes, it means more revenue for the insurance company, but some of that additional revenue can be used to increase incentives even further. The way we look at it is you are getting more years added to your life by taking care of your body. That’s more Thanksgivings, more birthdays, and more Christmases. That’s the biggest incentive.


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