John Hancock wants you to exercise your way to a lower life insurance premium

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John Hancock is making a clean break from more than 150 years of traditional life insurance underwriting practices to do something that’s never been attempted before — letting your insurance premium go down over time if you make healthy lifestyle changes.

RELATED: Your 7 most common life insurance questions answered

John Hancock re-imagines life insurance

Founded in 1862, John Hancock has hit on a very modern idea: Rewarding life insurance customers with a variety of incentives if they take steps to live longer and healthier lives, according to a press release.

Since 2015, John Hancock has offered its Vitality program to employers. Some of the earliest Vitality initiatives included paying customers up to $600 a year to make healthy grocery choices and giving customers an Apple Watch for just $25 if they would exercise regularly.

Now, beginning next year, the insurer will roll out two new features to support people on their fitness journey of eating healthier, exercising more often and getting regular health checkups.

Vitality GO

First up, the insurer will introduce the Vitality GO feature on all life insurance policies at no additional cost.

This will let you access expert fitness/nutritional resources and personalized health goals through mobile or desktop.

Plus, as you meet the goals you’ve set up for healthy activities, Vitality GO lets you score discounts at major brand outlets! No word yet on which brands will be included in this partnership.

Vitality PLUS

Next up, a pay service called Vitality PLUS will be expanded with new rewards for healthy activity.

The first of those new rewards, which will launch October 1, 2018, will be exclusive customer discounts at 400,000+ hotels around the world.

And to ring in the new year, some members will be eligible to receive a one-year Amazon Prime membership for free beginning in January 2019.

Pricing for Vitality PLUS will be either $2 a month on single life permanent products or 3% of a term life policy’s modal premium — whether that’s annual, semi-annual, quarterly, monthly or weekly.

The new perks being added to the Vitality PLUS join existing benefits like a 15% break on annual premiums if you exercise regularly, eat well and get all scheduled health checkups.

Plus, Vitality PLUS subscribers have the opportunity to get a Fitbit or Apple Watch so they can easily record their healthy habits.

And speaking of Fitbits, in a separate development there’s a new program called Fitbit Care that introduces the human element into health care monitoring via wearables.

Fitbit Care, which is service offered to large employers, will come complete with one-on-one health coaching and personalized digital interventions for subscribers.

Clark’s take

Money expert Clark Howard likes the idea of insurance premiums going down after you sign up based on you changing your behavior.

“The folks at John Hancock are actually really clear about why they do it. If they can get you to live longer, it saves them money. They are not gray about that at all,” the consumer champ says.

“They’re like, ‘Hey, you get longer life. We’re not paying on as many policies. We win and you win.'”

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo has co-written several books with Clark Howard, including the New York Times #1 bestseller Living Large in Lean Times. As a single widowed parent of two young children, he strives to bring unique savings tips to men and women like him who must face life without their spouses. He can be reached at [email protected]
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