Next to the day I married my wife, and the days my children were born,
and the day the Cleveland Indians won the World Series, the happiest day of my life was the day I lost the fitness tracker my company offered to get us to be healthier employees. Perhaps itâs nagging someone else now who didnât have enough pressure and unmet obligations in life.
Since that blessed time, theyâve grown to become creepy in many ways, accumulating data that we shouldnât have to share with anyone.
But thatâs what the John Hanock is now requiring, announcing it will no longer sell traditional life insurance policies, opting instead for âinteractiveâ policies which use smart watches and fitbit-type devices to monitor the physical activity of its policyholders.
Being active can help extend your lifespan. See how small choices like taking the stairs can benefit your longevity & how having life insurance with the John Hancock Vitality Program can reward you for your healthy choices. https://t.co/jL1fLiI9wh #rewardinglife #financialfitness
â John Hancock (@johnhancockusa) September 20, 2018
Existing customers wonât get a choice. Their policies will be converted to the new ones in 2019.
The company says it will provide discounts in exchange for the data. It will likely save money if otherwise sedentary policyholders start exercising and, thus, pay life insurance premiums longer for a product that is, essentially, a bet between them and the company that the company will take more in premiums than it ever pays out.
Engadget notes that people will likely give up their privacy in exchange for the discounts â privacy as a concept is rapidly disappearing as consumers willingly give up for the right price, but, Engadget says, âit could also end up punishing users who have short-term health conditions, such as an injury, illness or a pregnancy and are unable to keep up with fitness goals. Itâs also worth remembering that it isnât too hard to intentionally game the steps count and other stats with these devices, and that they arenât perfectly accurate.â