Fitness trackers are everywhere these days. The Apple Watch, Samsung Gear, and Fitbit (to name a few) can be found on almost anyone’s wrist. Even Britain’s Prince Harry recently was spotted wearing an activity tracker ring during his trip to Australia.
In addition to monitoring our heart rate and levels of activity, these wearables also provide an incentive to increase our activity. The buzz on your wrist translates to an emotional buzz when you exceed your set goals. Some people say it’s addictive.
I think we can agree that things motivating us to be healthier are positive additions to society.
Fitness Tracker-Based Insurance May Be in Everyone’s Future
The insurance industry is embracing the use of wearable technology.
A story in Forbes says that one of oldest insurance companies in the United States, John Hancock, will no longer sell traditional Life Insurance policies. Instead, it plans to sell only interactive policies that work with fitness trackers.
Such policies already enjoy popularity among companies and customers in South Africa and the United Kingdom. They are marketed as advantageous for both the insurance company and consumers. Knowing someone is tracking an individual’s activity incentivizes policy holders to lead healthier lives. Insurance companies believe they get healthier customers who file fewer claims.
Improving technology means users and companies tracking data have access better information. However, some fear companies’ access to such tracking software poses potential privacy and security problems.
An article in The Next Web addresses concerns voiced by those in the cybersecurity arena. Since wearables essentially are computers, cybersecurity experts believe they eventually will be hacked.
Additionally, concerns exist that large swaths of the population will be denied coverage for failing to meet unreasonable standards. This could be caused by malfunctions or manipulation of the software and data.
Of course, as with all technology, we move forward, address the issues that arise, and work to improve. The ability to track and analyze wearable data allows the health and insurance industries to improve health and health care. Better understanding of the data available will help insurance companies provide better coverage.
As always, the Keating Agency is your local, independent insurance agency. We are here to offer you the latest innovation in insurance coverage and protect your interests. If you have concerns or questions about fitness tracker-based insurance or other issues, we’re happy to discuss those with you. Contact us today.