Wearable technology could dramatically change the way life carriers do business and interact with their customers. See what some insurers are already doing with wearables.
The cutting edge of the insurance industry involves adjusting premiums and policies based on new forms of surveillance.
There’s not enough oversight for apps that track everything from people’s fitness routines to their menstrual cycles, bioethicists say.
Technological advances in biosensors and increasing amounts of heart rate data from wearable devices and electronic health records are leading to the development of more sophisticated underwriting algorithms. This data, when coupled with robust epidemiological evidence about the prognostic value of heart rate, may improve insurer understanding of cardiovascular risk and ultimately allow underwriters to better predict morbidity and mortality risk.
Wearables introduce a multitude of ways to monitor health. The quality and quantity of information supplied by wearables will transform how we manage our lives. There is a huge opportunity for life insurance companies to change the way we interact with our customers and to improve how we manage risk.
New global research released by Vitality, a leading behavior change platform, reveals that financial incentives combined with wearables encourage people to significantly increase their physical activity.
Customers can withhold their fitness data, but that will result in higher premiums, which may put life insurance out of reach for low-income earners. This in turn could have an impact on whether would-be homeowners can take out mortgages, some of which can require a life insurance policy on the principle borrower.
While wearables and apps are most closely associated with promoting physical fitness, technology is increasingly being put to use in lifestyle monitoring of the elderly and others in need of care.
For insurers to effectively utilize wearable technology, it is important to understand the metrics captured by devices. Insurers must also be mindful of regulations, set reasonable expectations, and balance the risk and rewards of new developments.This white paper summarizes the considerations.
John Hancock, one of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, will stop underwriting traditional life insurance and instead sell only interactive policies that track fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones, the company said on Wednesday.