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Some life insurers jumping on wearables

As wearable technology continues to develop, some life insurershave begun to incorporate it into their policies, a review of rate filings shows.

One example is French insurer AXA. Two of its units — AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co. and MONY Life Insurance Co. of America — mention a Wellness IncentiveBenefit Endorsement in form filings submitted to regulators. Under the endorsement,policyholders are able to receive periodic payments when they complete health andwellness-related activities, one of which is regular exercise while wearing an approvedfitness-tracking device. Other activities include completing an annual online healthreview, achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight, and visiting one's doctormore frequently.

As of Aug. 25, the endorsement had been approved in 18 jurisdictions,according to a filing submitted to Oklahoma regulators. The System for ElectronicRate and Form Filing tracking number for the filing is ELAS-130679886, and it canbe accessed via RateFilings.com.

John Hancock LifeInsurance Co. (USA) included a similar benefit in some of its filings,which it dubs a Healthy Engagement Benefit. Policyholders can lower premiums byracking up points, which ultimately determine the status of the individual. Oneroute to earning points is to exercise regularly while wearing an approved fitness-trackingdevice, such as a Fitbit. Other ways to increase points include completing an annualonline health review, achieving and maintaining a healthy body mass index, and gettingvaccinated against the flu. John Hancock is a unit of Canadian insurer A recentexample of a filing that describes this benefit is a Montana filing with SERFF trackingnumber MANU-130580739.

As of the first half of 2016, the Manulife group of companieswas one of the top 10 largest writers of ordinary life insurance policies in theU.S. market, based on direct premiums written. It occupied the same spot in 2015as well. AXA produced fewer premiums but was still in the top 15. This data comesfrom statutory statements submitted to the NAIC.

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Even if insurers do not explicitly factor wearables intotheir policies, there are still ways they can be useful, as Capgemini noted in aJanuary report. For instance, the data could be used for claims management or toimprove marketing efforts, the consulting firm wrote.

The technology could offer opportunities to P&C writers aswell. Travelers Cos. Inc.,for example, prepared a paper in 2015 outlining some of the risks that wearabletechnology creates and how P&C insurers like itself can provide coverage forthem. Travelers highlighted three risk classes in particular: cyber, bodily injury,and technology errors and omissions.

Travelers was one of the leading writers of stand-alone cybersecuritybusiness in the U.S. in 2015, as a recent S&P Global Market Intelligence found.

 

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers a host of downloadable templates that aid in the analysis of the U.S. life insurance market. For instance, click here for a template featuring market share data for life groups and individuals companies, with separate tabs for all 50 states and D.C.