Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Manulife seeks to trade health data for insurance premium discounts - The Globe and Mail

Manulife Financial Corp. is bringing its fitness trackers and financial incentives to the Canadian market.

The country's largest life insurer has struck an exclusive agreement with wellness program provider Vitality Group to offer savings on life insurance premiums to customers who prove that they are taking steps to improve their health, such as getting vaccinated and going for cancer screenings.

This new type of insurance launched in the United States last spring through Manulife's subsidiary, John Hancock Financial Services, and now its coming north of the border.

Manulife aims to make insurance more fun for customers, with an app that offers encouragement and digital pats on the back, as well as a free wearable fitness tracker for signing up. Manulife is still determining which devices it will offer in Canada, but in the United States it partnered with Fitbit.

"Part of the program is helping [customers] to set goals, and then helping follow them on the goals," said Marianne Harrison, head of Manulife Canada. "Our strategy here in Canada is really around health and wealth, and trying to bring those things together."

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