A $25 Apple Watch? This insurer says yes

It is unknown what kind of per-watch discounts Apple is offering providers but healthy customers are far less expensive to insure meaning the financial benefits come from more than just price reductions on the device. There's a catch, though.

John Hancock is the first life insurer to offer an nearly free Apple Watch as it brings this benefit to all existing and new customers of its Vitality life insurance program. According to the stipulations, as long as you exercise regularly for two years, you can keep the watch for free. After the company saw a 20% increase in activity from those using the Apple Watch, it chose to offer the wearable to all members of its Vitality program. These points go towards paying off your monthly Apple Watch payment over a period of 24 months. Accrue 500 points per month for 2 years and the smartwatch is yours for no extra cost. In that trial, roughly half of the participants reached their activity goals, and the trial was responsible for a 20% increase in physical activity by participants.

The Manulife Vitality program launched in 2016, which allows members to save on premiums and earn rewards by getting more active in their lives.

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Manulife's USA division, John Hancock, today also announced the expansion of the Vitality program, now available to new and existing John Hancock Vitality life insurance policyholders. For example, John Hancock initially offered the program to a limited number of customers who purchased life insurance policies of over $2 million. However, these partnerships also raise some questions. Is it secure? Will it be sold to third parties?

In the case of John Hancock's Vitality program, John Hancock senior vice president Brooks Tingle told CNBC that "safeguards" are in place to protect customer data and make sure it doesn't get in the hands of employers or other entities.


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