Want a Free Amazon Halo? Just Hand Over Your Data to This Insurance Company
Life insurer John Hancock says it will use data from Amazon’s new wearable to track plan holders
Yesterday, Amazon unveiled a new health and fitness tracking wristband called Halo, along with a subscription service and app, to rival existing wearables like the Apple Watch and Fitbit.
The $100 gadget comes with new features beyond what existing consumer health devices already offer: one that measures your percentage of body fat and another that analyzes your emotional state by listening to the tone of your voice. Like other wearable trackers, it also monitors physical activity, heart rate, and sleep phases.
One of the oldest and largest North American life insurers, John Hancock, is partnering with Amazon to offer its members a free Amazon Halo device and a three-year membership, which typically costs $3.99 a month. In exchange, members will have to hand over their data to their insurer, which will use it to award discounts on premiums and other rewards.
Other insurers could follow Hancock’s lead. Insurance companies are increasingly turning to tracking apps to monitor policyholders more closely, raising concerns over privacy, accuracy, and even discrimination.
In 2018, John Hancock announced it was transitioning its business model to only sell these so-called interactive policies, which allow plan holders to share data from smartphone apps and wearable devices.
“Consumers know that companies have a ton of data about them these days.”
The company has an existing app that integrates with the Apple Watch, Fitbit, and now Amazon Halo. Policyholders can earn points for doing things like exercising, buying healthy foods, and seeing their doctor. Those points accumulate and determine someone’s status level, which allows them to get discounts on their premiums and choose their own rewards, like gift cards. Brooks Tingle, president and CEO of John Hancock Insurance, tells OneZero that the company’s “most engaged” participants earn a 25% reduction on their life insurance premiums. People can choose not to share their data, but they don’t get the…