Wearables driving life insurance engagement

A renewed focus on health and wellbeing is proving to be the key to engaging members with their life insurance.

Since launching its fitness and wellness program four years ago with South African insurer Discovery, AIA Australia's Vitality leads the pack when engaging members with their life insurance policy.

According to AIA Australia chief executive Damien Mu, this is evident in the life insurer's latest statistics, which registered more than 107,000 online health assessments; 195,000 gym visits and 14 billion steps in the 12 months to November 2017 - thanks to trackable data on wearable and mobile devices.

Members incidentally receive rewards in the form of shopping vouchers and lower life insurance premium of up to 20%, Mu said.

Vitality has about 45,000 members and "we expect that to grow," he said, adding the first phase of implementation involved making it available to financial advisers and retail clients.

"We are now looking to introduce [Vitality] to superannuation products and group partners," he added.

Meanwhile, TAL rewards member's healthy living through a similar initiative, HealthSense.

"The effort, reward and exchange have to feel right for our customers. [HealthSense] offers significant premium discounts to customers with a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI). This makes it simple for customers to understand and manage their own health and be rewarded for doing so," TAL general manager of innovation Dan Taylor said.

An ANZ white paper released last year shows new technologies and social trends are redefining approaches to healthy living and inspiring an upsurge of interest in personal wellbeing.

The challenge for insurers however, is determining how to access this wealth of data and use it most effectively without facing any conflicts of interest, the research noted.

Mu said Vitality has data of millions of people around the world, but it's "completely separate" and not used for underwriting.

Underwriting and claims do not have any access to that data as the member's life insurance policy is in place well before Vitality kicks in, he said.

"This is about trusting and knowing that over time that if we help people be healthier, the likelihood is they will continue to do that and we're supporting them in their journey. That's why members trust it and enjoy it," Mu added.

Read more: TALLife insuranceVitalityAIA AustraliaHealthSenseAIA VitalityANZDamien MuDan TaylorDiscovery
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