SUMMER 2022 29
What does this data tell us ? A recent study showed middle-aged adults who took at least 7,000 steps had a 50 % to 70 % lower chance of mortality .
What does this data tell us ? It can provide powerful insights into mortality or morbidity risks for people . A recent study published in the JAMA Network showed that middle-aged adults who took at least 7,000 steps had a 50 % to 70 % lower chance of mortality . The apps can collect accurate and verifiable data ; if a plan participant consistently achieved this activity level , that could translate into a discounted premium from the health insurer . Data has been used in this fashion by property and casualty ( P & C ) carriers for years . They employ telematics to track speed , acceleration , distance , and braking to reward safer drivers with lower premiums .
Power of the app
These apps can do more than just collect user movement and activity data . They can be a powerful tool to improve a user ’ s overall wellness by focusing on five key areas : physical activity , nutrition , mental health , social connectedness , and financial wellness . This can be achieved by gentle nudges that get a user to do micro-exercises throughout the day , pause to meditate , or take quizzes to improve healthy eating and financial literacy knowledge .
The apps can offer some incentives to ensure policyholders use them . They can reward users with points for completing tasks like hitting their step goal for the week or completing quizzes and assessments . When they collect enough points , they can redeem them for gift cards at major retailers or discounts on travel . There can also be a social incentive . The apps allow users to compete against friends , family , or colleagues to see who gets the most points in a week or month . Or , users can communicate through the app to motivate each other to reach their goals .
One area most agents have difficulty with is building engagement with their clients . They might reach out once or twice a year to send a birthday or holiday card , but it is challenging to do more . However , these apps can collect data that helps them identify changes in behavior that can forecast life-changing events , like marriage or pregnancy . App users will also be increasing their financial literacy through quizzes and will better understand what type of coverage is available or necessary to protect their families . These results can guide agents when to reach out to policyholders and offer new products and services at just the right time — such as recommending new parents review their life insurance policy needs or consider purchasing disability coverage if they don ’ t already have it . This approach enhances the likelihood of closing new sales or expanding coverages already in place .
Agents could see other benefits to these apps , specifically , new clients . Many distributors have trouble generating word-ofmouth referrals from even the most satisfied client . But , when clients build a community of friends or colleagues on the app , it offers agents / brokers an opportunity to connect with them and potentially obtain new sales leads .
In the 15 years since the first iPhone was released , smartphones now dominate the mobile market . In the United States , there are 274 million smartphone users , accounting for about 82 % of the market , while 69 million Americans say they regularly wear a smartwatch or fitness tracker . With the proper app , these devices can help users enjoy a lower premium , get healthier , and unlock rewards while also helping distributors and insurers provide additional services when users need them the most . This technology will revolutionize the health and life insurance business for all parties involved — distributors , carriers , and policyholders . And , just like Apple , the first company that can build this engagement while reducing risk , will likely become the dominant player in this space .
But these apps can help insurance agents build their business with word-of-mouth referrals . An insurer recently launched a pilot project where 1,000 policyholders were given access to an app that offered rewards and micro-learning opportunities . The policyholders were encouraged to invite anyone they wanted to join , like their beneficiaries , spouses , friends , children , and colleagues , to the platform as a free benefit . In no time , more than 3,000 active members were in the pilot project .
These active members became a nurturing community and offered encouragement for users to hit their goals . Members began friendly competitions to see who could get the most steps in a month or complete the most quizzes on financial literacy . Members continued to utilize the app throughout the pilot .
The app generated a lot of data for the policyholders and those invited into the program . The insurer was able to keep track of which topics interested which user , allowing agents to cultivate those users as potential sales leads . Current policyholders could be contacted by their agents with cross-selling opportunities . At the same time , non-customers could receive targeted messaging on various insurance products and an introduction to a local agent .