Sep 19, 2018

John Hancock to offer rewards to holders who achieve health goals

CEO of John Hancock Financial Services Marianne Harrison. Photo: Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images.

John Hancock, one of the largest North American life insurers, will only sell policies that include the tracking of fitness and health data through wearable devices and smartphones, the company said on Wednesday.

The details: The company's underwriting process will still exist, but all policies will include the wellness program, called Vitality. Policyholders will be rewarded with discounts on their premiums and gift cards to popular stores when they achieve goals in a points system.

Why it matters: "The John Hancock move is a rare sighting of advantageous selection in the insurance industry, which normally struggles with its opposite, adverse selection," writes Axios' Felix Salmon. "With advantageous selection, the kind of people who sign up for fitness-based interactive policies tend to be fitter and live longer, which are attributes life insurers love."

The details: Hancock's holders are not required to have wearable fitness technology or have a smartphone to be insured, the company said. Instead, users will only share data they want with the company — including their physical activity, nutrition habits, gym usage or doctor's appointments. Policyholders can track everything in an app to accumulate points.

Timing: Hancock will begin converting existing life insurance policies to Vitality in 2019.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 400,000 worldwide on Sunday morning, per Johns Hopkins.

By the numbers: Almost 6.9 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 globally and more than 3 million have recovered from the virus. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.9 million.

George Floyd updates

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events on Saturday.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,898,613 — Total deaths: 399,832 — Total recoveries — 3,087,714Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.