editor's letter

New editor comes with new policies

Welcome to the latest issue of Verdict insurTech and my first issue as editor. It’s an exciting time to look at the insurance sector and I’m thrilled to see it evolve.

There are now more options than ever to reduce your premiums. As a matter of fact, some firms are even encouraging it.

American insurance behemoth John Hancock will only offer life insurance options that utilise a health tracker and wearables.

American insurance behemoth John Hancock will only offer life insurance options that utilise a health tracker and wearables.

Customers of the John Hancock life insurance will only receive policies that have options with wearables. This leads to paying less on premiums if the customers exercise regularly and the activity is tracked. Moreover, it is powered by Vitality – a behaviour change platform.

This sounds good on paper. Promoting a healthier lifestyle and lowering costs for consumers can only be a good thing. However, many don’t have a wearable device and paying a premium to get an Apple Watch for $25 doesn’t sound like a great incentive to start.

Moreover, it is not a move coming entirely from a good place. Those that are healthy tend to live longer and will end up paying more premiums over time. Sure, everyone wants their customers to be healthy, but only if it comes with a profit.

The Internet of Things
In this issue, we take an in-depth look at the Internet of Things and how it can affect insurance costs. MXC has also added in blockchain, as well as cryptocurrency, if that wasn’t enough tech for you.

Having insurance merge with Amazon, one of the biggest holders of our data and devices, could also make a gigantic difference. If people trust Amazon, which they currently do according to Bain, then this is a major hit.

According to the research from Bain, among Amazon Prime respondents, nearly two-thirds would try a free online bank account from Amazon. Even people who do not purchase from Amazon would give it a go, 37% of them anyway.

Aviva, Hillhouse Capital, and Tencent, have launched Blue as well. The platform is set to combine Aviva’s insurance expertise with Hillhouse’s investment management capability and Tencent’s tech.

There is a lot to come from the insurance sector in upcoming months. There is a wide variety of tech out there now and insurance is beginning to utilise it. Soon, we might all have coverage similar to John Hancock’s; intrinsically tied to technology.

I look forward to seeing the results.

Patrick Brusnahan, Editor