Why is Fitbit Life Insurance a thing?
The evolving nature of health wearables is now in the life insurance industry.
Fitbit does not offer life insurance, however a couple of select insurance carriers now offer 'points' and 'rewards' for clients that utilize this product. It is important to note that these points are not exclusive to just Fitbit but may also apply to numerous other related competitor products such as the Apple Watch and Garmins. Insurers are increasingly interested in this product because users of Fitbits may be considered to be more healthy and hence maybe a better insurance risk.
Fitbit Life Insurance
Fitbit does not offer any type or kind of life insurance. However some insurance companies are beginning to offer certain benefits to insureds that use their product.
A Fitbit device is a wearable device that measures and counts various physical data such as steps walked, heartbeats, calories burned, and other soft encouragement of healthy living. Fitbit is being transformed from a consumer wearable electronics company into a digital healthcare type company. The organization was founded in 2007 in Delaware. The company offers numerous standalone devices that measure all sorts of physical and other data to promote an active lifestyle. Fitbit also has phone apps on Apple and Android that can paired up via Bluetooth devices.
The term fitbit life insurance is beginning to be searched by numerous consumers looking to save money or receive bonuses for wearing fitbit type devices. Therefore we put together a short article about Fitbit and fitbit type devices to assist consumers shopping for life insurance.
This subject is quickly evolving and changing... Needless to say that this article is about more than just Fitbit products. Depending on the insurer and the situation it could pertain to all sorts of connected wearables.
Company Full Name: Fitbit Inc.
Company Physical Address: 199 Fremont St San Francisco, CA 94105
Insurer Phone Number: 877-623-4997
Insurer Website: fitbit .com
CEO of Fitbit: James Park
CTO of Fitbit: Eric Friedman
Ticker Symbol: FIT
Products: Versa, Iconic, Charge 3, Alta HR, Atla, Flex 2, Ace, among others.
* A special note - this topic is quickly evolving. Doubtless this page will need to be updated on numerous occasions. Please check back often for updates.
A Weareable is: "a blanket term for electronics that can be worn on the body, either as an accessory or as part of material used in clothing. There are many types of wearable technology but some of the most popular devices are activity trackers and smartwatches."
Which Companies are Currently offering Discounts for users of Fitbits?
John Hancock, an American Insurer owned by Canada's Manulife Financial Corp is the main insurer that offers this through their Vitality Insurance program. The Vitality program offers up "rewards for everyday things you do to stay healthy." These rewards can be used in a multitude of ways. John Hancock has two similar programs Vitality Go and Vitality Plus. The Vitality Plus program offers up a potential discount of "up to 15% on your annual life insurance premium."
The John Hancock Vitality Go and Vitality Plus program also offers health related discounts to a number of different programs and services: CVS, Hotels.com, Headspace, among others.
Should I buy Life Insurance because an Insurer Gives me points or a discount?
Perhaps, Perhaps Not. Consumers of insurance should be careful shopping for the policy that offers the largest discount. The main initial price is often the most important consideration. Even if you do qualify for a 15% discount, what was the base rate?
15% Off of $1,000 per year or 0% Off of $800 per year, which is cheaper?
For many consumers of life insurance, often the best insurance product is to pair you up with an insurer that takes kindly to your exact medical condition. This we have discussed numerous times in articles about life insurance health classes and qualifying for Preferred Plus pricing. Your goal should always first be to find out whom you can get the highest healthcare class offer from. The second consideration is the base price and lastly how any discount may figure in.
Lastly, the most common way that most consumers waste money purchasing life insurance is in buying something that they neither need nor want. This is often the case when people buy a whole life insurance policy without realizing that this will mean premiums (usually) for their entire life. Or when someone is sold a Indexed Universal policy as a better option for retirement savings (which it is emphatically not.)
In our example Above we asked which insurance product was cheaper, the one with 15% off or the one with No discount at all? When you look at it another way the answer become so much more clear.
$850 per year or $800 per year, now which appears less expensive?
Fitbit is based in San Francisco and by many is considered to be the market leader in healthy wearable devices.
The counter argument is that if you are already are using a Fitbit device, shouldn't you save money because you are using it? Of course you should. However if you are being active and activity makes you healthier, won't this better many of your health metrics at the time your paramedical exam? Maybe not. There is much to ponder this fast changing industry as it increasingly pairs up with life insurers.
The Case for Insurers to Discount Life Insurance Policies for Fitbit users:
The case for life insurers to offer discounts to users of Fitbits, Apple watches, and Garmins is a relatively new one. Currently there is not that much peer reviewed evidence that fitbit device trackers make people healthier. According to the Lancet, "Despite the increasing popularity of activity trackers, little evidence exists that they can improve health outcomes."
However there is some evidence based on other studies that users of Fitbit devices may be more active. According to a Pilot Study done at John Carroll University, by GREG FARNELL and JACOB BARKLEY: "Participants without a wearable activity device (i.e., control group) exhibited decreases in physical activity of >20% which may be greater (effect sizes, d = 0.67 - 0.78) than the Fitbit One group (decrease of ≤ 2.4%)." This study was based on Women aged 18-50. Their conclusion continues: "These findings add to the increasingly equivocal evidence regarding the efficacy of activity monitors to promote physical activity behavior(sic)." In other words, Fitbit wearers seem to be more likely to be physically active.
This is the central argument that life insurance (and health insurers) sees for offering benefits to users of these products. The more that someone is active the healthier that they may be. That exercise may lengthen consumers lives is something that researchers have been analyzing and measuring for decades. Numerous studies have stated that more activity will help you live longer. A Study in the Journal of Aging Research says: "Physical activity during leisure time seems to increase life expectancy more effectively than total physical activity (all-day, professional, or leisure time activity altogether; professional physical activity alone has not been studied): 3.4 added years due to total activities and 4.7 added years (median values) due to leisure time activities in women, 1.9 and 3.9 added years, respectively, in men."
If you connect these two studies together they seem to show that using Fitbits may increase your longevity. At least maybe.
But does this mean that these folks should indeed pay less for life insurance?
Questions About Life Insurance with a Fitbit:
Question: Does Fitbit offer life insurance?
Answer: No Fitbit, Garmin, & Apple do not offer life insurance.
Question: Should I buy a term policy from a carrier that offers me a 15% discount on life insurance for using my Fitbit?
Question: If I already have a Life Insurance Policy and have a Fitbit, am I overpaying for life insurance?
Answer: Possibly, but often probably not. The reason for this is because as you age (purely speaking) a new life insurance policy becomes more expensive. Therefore by the time that you have had a policy for two or three or more years, its unlikely that you will save money jumping to another policy. However this answer assumes that you 1. purchased the correct type that you need(ed) and 2. that you shopped on the open independent market and got a fair price to begin with. Lastly it is also technically possible that you dramatically became healthier, such as lost 50 pounds or gave up smoking, etc this too could have a major impact.
Should you have questions about this company or life insurance kindly send them to us. You can add them to the comment box below or email us directly. scott at marindependent.com
Conclusion about Using Fitbit and Life Insurance:
This is a fast moving field that will continue to change, dramatically. There is probably enough evidence for life insurers to begin to offer future benefits to users of Fitbit and other fitbit type devices. What we have seen so far is just the beginning. Things are likely to change.
Fitbit does not offer, sell, or service any type or kind of life insurance.