What a great move. And it didn't take a startup or new entrant to do it. The 156 year old firm is leveraging new technology and wearables to help it underwrite and understand their customers better.
I have had quite a few interesting discussions on this one - some love it and others think it's a bit creepy.
For me though, it's just a transition state until this becomes adopted much more widely - and no one knows any different.
People will highlight data security, privacy and more - yes these are all issues - but, for me, we can't ignore this great opportunity.
This, for me, is a win win:
- the Customer wins by having greater insight into their health and what they need to do to remain and be healthier. Getting them to do this of course is a very different thing.
- the Insurer can have detailed insights into their book, helping people become fitter / healthier and ultimately reduce claims costs.
This is a natural evolution from reactive insurance to proactive - the same way your car tells you when there is a fault or you are going to run out of petrol. We have relied on this technology for years.
Other examples that are already here include plasters than slow release medicine as you need it - imagine as a diabetic that your insulin is automatically monitored and controlled for you.
The bigger issue here is what if an insurer understands something that you can't affect or cure, where does that leave you in the long term. Are we creating through data, a multi-tiered society?
Many questions to be answered here - but I think a bold and great move from John Hancock. Others will follow now for sure.
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.