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Insurer John Hancock expands 'Vitality' program to include Apple Watch Series 5

Insurance provider John Hancock extended its Vitality life insurance program, which incentivizes healthy lifestyles by allowing customers to "earn" an Apple Watch, to include Apple Watch Series 5, the company said on Thursday.

Apple Watch Series 5

New and existing policyholders will be able to purchase a new 40mm Apple Watch Series 5 for $25 this fall, John Hancock said in a press release. Customers can also opt for a 38mm Series 3 for the same price.

Like previous iterations of the Vitality Apple Watch program, customers can elect to outfit their watch with upgraded features like a larger screen or cellular connectivity for a one-time fee. The remainder of the purchase price is split into monthly payments spread over a two-year period, but policyholders can work off part or all of those dues by exercising regularly.

More specifically, customers earn Vitality Points when they log activity with Apple Watch. These points are converted into a monetary equivalent that goes toward monthly Apple Watch payments, which can be paid in full depending on a user's level of activity.

"Today's announcement further cements our commitment to motivate and inspire customers to both protect their financial futures and live longer, healthier lives," said Brooks Tingle, president and CEO of John Hancock Insurance. "The Apple Watch has been an extremely popular and effective component of our program as customers who use it report increased motivation and physical activity, the bottom line in what we're trying to do with our insurance."

Dubbed a "behavior change platform," John Hancock's Vitality launched in 2015 as an experiment in "interactive life insurance." The initiative grew to include Apple Watch Series 3 integration for policyholders in 2017, an option that rolled out to all life policies in 2018.

The trial appears to be working, as a recent in-house survey of John Hancock Vitality members showed 84% of respondents were motivated to exercise because of their Apple Watch, while 90% used the wearable seven days a week. John Hancock also cites a RAND Europe study of 400,000 people which found participants of Vitality's Global Apple Watch programs average a 34% sustained increase in physical activity over those who did not use the device.