John Hancock Departs from Traditional Life Insurance Model to Reward Customers for Taking Steps to Healthier Lives

John Hancock Vitality
Image: Creative commons

John Hancock is leaving behind its traditional life insurance policies to replace them with Vitality – a behavior change platform that gives incentives to customers who choose steps to live longer and healthier lives. The John Hancock Vitality platform was created by converging behavioral economics with consumer technology. It rewards customers for making healthier choices linked to physical activity, nutrition and mindfulness.

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“For centuries, the insurance model has primarily provided financial protection for families after death, without enhancing the very quality it hinges on: life,” said Marianne Harrison, John Hancock president and CEO. “We fundamentally believe life insurers should care about how long and well their customers live. With this decision, we are proud to become the only U.S. life insurance company to fully embrace behavioral-based wellness and leave the old way of doing business behind.”

John Hancock began offering Vitality as part of its overall set of offerings in 2015. What drove the company to do that was studies that showed lifestyle diseases are the leading cause of death in the United States. Just 4 choices – sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking – cause more than 60% of deaths and 80% of the diseases globally, according to Oxford Health Alliance.

To face this challenge, John Hancock turned to Vitality and its pairing of technology, incentives and science to inform and reward customers for making healthier choices every day.

It worked out very well. They found that Vitality policyholders take nearly twice as many steps as the average American; logged more than three million healthy activities including walking, swimming, and biking; and engaged with the program approximately 576 times per year, compared with traditional insurance customers, who engaged with their life insurance company once or twice per year. As a result, the Vitality policy holders:

  • Live 13-21 years longer than the rest of the insured population and
  • Generate 30 percent lower hospitalization costs than the rest of the insured population
John Hancock Vitality
Image: Creative commons

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New and existing customers now have two options to support and incentivize healthier choices:

Vitality GO will be offered on all life insurance policies, at no additional cost. With this basic ‘be healthy’ version of the program, consumers will have access to expert fitness and nutritional resources and personalized health goals through an easy-to-use app and website. And as they reach key milestones, their healthy activities will be rewarded with discounts at major brand outlets.

Vitality PLUS. For $2.00 a month, customers will receive all the benefits of the John Hancock Vitality Program, including savings of up to 15% on annual premiums and valuable rewards for exercising, eating well and getting regular checkups. Consumers can earn an Apple Watch for as little as $25 plus tax or receive a complimentary Fitbit device. Additionally, starting October 1, 2018, customers will get exclusive discounts at more than 400,000 hotels around the world in partnership with And, starting January 2019, members who reach platinum status for three consecutive program years will receive a one-year Amazon Prime membership.

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Sam Draper
Sam Draper () is Online Editor at WT | Wearable Technologies specialized in the field of sports and fitness but also passionated about any new lifestyle gadget on the market. Sam can be contacted at press(at)