Changing The Conversation

Life, Reimagined

Shouldn’t your life insurance company want you to live a long and healthy life?

by Brooks Tingle

Mr. Tingle is President and CEO, John Hancock Insurance. Boston, Ma. Please visit

It’s time for the life insurance industry to look in the mirror. In this age of smart technology and changing consumer expectations, it’s clear that we are seeing a dramatic shift in the way Americans are living their lives. So, we must ask ourselves: isn’t it time to disrupt the life insurance industry by focusing as much on living as dying? Today, John Hancock is taking steps to reimagine the life insurance model, because we believe your life insurance company should care about how long and well you live. By leaning into three beliefs, we can reach more consumers in ways we never have before:

The Age of Smart Technology & The Connected Consumer

In 2015, we introduced John Hancock Vitality – an innovative solution that integrates life insurance with a technology-based wellness program that offers rewards and savings for the everyday things people do to live healthy. The program leverages smart technology, including a combination of wearable devices, a custom mobile app, and user-friendly website to link our members directly to the program. It provides the interactive and personalized experiences consumers expect.
The impact on customer engagement has been tremendous: John Hancock Vitality customers are engaging with us an average of 576 times per year, compared to the industry average of only 1-2 times per year with traditional policies1. Our future depends upon our ability to better understand consumers and continue to innovate and deliver meaningful solutions and services that address their unique needs.

The Rise of Wellness

Rethinking life insurance is also about rethinking the value it can bring in customers’ everyday lives. That means changing the conversation from death to living, and living well...

Rethinking life insurance is also about rethinking the value it can bring in customers’ everyday lives. That means changing the conversation from death to living, and living well. We cannot ignore that Americas’ health is at risk due to lifestyle. Today, up to two thirds of all deaths in the U.S. are primarily driven by lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.2 As a result, consumers are seeking tools to support better nutrition, fitness and mental health. Vitality has shown us that life insurance can be a very relevant partner in this pursuit.  For example, John Hancock Vitality customers are taking twice as many steps as the average American.

A “Shared Value” Approach to Business

Finally, life insurance is no stranger to the idea of providing consumers security and helping ensure their prosperity. But we’ve reached the time to think bigger than individuals and families and extend that notion to whole communities and society at large. It’s time for insurance to realize its potential as the ultimate “shared value” industry.3  By helping to improve health, extend life and reverse chronic diseases, we have the ability to generate economic value in a way that also produces value for society by addressing current health challenges.

We don’t just believe it’s time to rethink life insurance – we know it because we’ve seen it work. That is why we are adopting Vitality as a core business strategy and why, from this point forward, we are including John Hancock Vitality on all the policies we sell. We believe it is the right thing to do for our customers, our business and society. We hope you will join us. ◊


1 Based on policyholder experience since inception in US, April 2015


One response to “Life, Reimagined”

  1. Chris Kite says:

    To go along with the innovation of Vitality to help living longer and healthier, companies need to better design and service UL policies to live longer. One way John Hancock does so is to solve for how the premium needs to be adjusted each year to stay on track. What is also needed are smoother ways to adjust the benefit to keep the policy going long term. We need to avoid making life insurance in retirement a gamble on dying early.

    See my article: