Fitbit Fitness: Working Out Life Insurance

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New research from the UK’s leading comparison site MoneySuperMarket reveals that a third of Brits (33 percent) currently use a smart device to monitor their health, capturing data that could help identify health issues and affect the way life insurance premiums are calculated.

With the number of connected wearable devices set to rise further in 2019, MoneySuperMarket research reveals that millennials are most likely to use wearable tech to monitor their health, with just under a third of 18-35 year old’s using their mobile phones alone. As the trend for fitness tech continues, some insurance providers such as Vitality are already utilizing the data gathered—a move which would be favored by millennials, with three in four (61 percent) stating they would be comfortable with sharing their data with a life insurance provider.

The research also shows that half (50 percent) of those surveyed have both a life insurance policy and a health monitoring device. In fact, when looking at the way future life insurance premiums are calculated, over one in 10 Brits (12 percent) would happily take out a life insurance policy based on the data received solely from a wearable health monitor. For example, Apple watches now include ECG monitors. Those in the West Midlands (15 percent) and London (12 percent) are most likely to opt in for this type of policy, with those in the South West being the least likely (five per cent). However, despite advances in technology, the majority of Brits (65 percent) would still prefer to take out a life insurance policy via the traditional methods of questionnaires and forms.

An individual’s lifestyle can also play a big part in how much they pay for life insurance. Smokers, for instance, can pay up to 50 percent more than a non-smoker for their policy. Wearable tech could reduce premiums for those who demonstrate a healthier lifestyle and also provide rewards and incentives for healthy behavior, such as reaching a specific step count.

A MoneySupermarket spokesperson, commented: “Wearables are beginning to have a significant impact on the life insurance market. They build on the well-established premise that a person’s lifestyle and habits play a big role in determining how much they will pay for cover. The logic is simple: use a device to demonstrate your healthy lifestyle and get lower premiums in return.

“Anything that increases the uptake of life insurance has to be a good thing – it’s vital financial protection for family members in the event of a person’s early death. Understandably, many of us shy away from something that confirms our own mortality, but it is crucially important to have cover in place so that bereaved dependents at least have financial resources to call upon.”

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