Should You Let Your Life Insurance Company Track Fitness Data?

Should Companies Track Fitness DataIs it a good idea to let companies track fitness data from your gadgets? It’s starting to become a growing trend. For instance, John Hancock Financial, the life insurance company, recently announced that it would sell only interactive policies from now on. This means that the only life insurance policies it sells are ones that require policyholder participation.

It’s possible for customers to opt out of the program. That said, by opting in and allowing the insurance company to track fitness data, customers have the chance to benefit from discounts. The reason is that if customers can use wearable technology to prove their making healthy lifestyle choices – like staying active – then they show they’re a lower risk of premature death and, therefore, are worthy of discounts that reflect that lower risk.

Should You Let Companies Track Fitness Data?

These types of policy that track fitness data have become commonplace in the United Kingdom. Now, they’re making their way into the United States, as well. However, while they may seem appealing because of the potential discounts they can offer, some people are concerned. Similar worries were voiced when auto insurance companies started bringing in policies that track driving habits and reward safer drivers with discounts.

There are many types of concerns being voiced about the interest in being able to track fitness data. There are privacy issues, security issues, and the risk that the data will be used differently in the future.
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Privacy from Companies

Some people don’t want to let insurance companies and other businesses track fitness data because it reveals just that much more about them that they would rather keep private. That said, participating insurers say that the data is used exclusively for determining risk associated with the policy and the size of a potential discount. It is not shared. Moreover, when it comes to the information collected by insurance companies, the type of data collected through fitness tracker is rather small and inconsequential.

Data Security in an Age of Cyberattacks

It feels as though a day doesn’t go by that another organization, business or even government makes headlines for having experienced a data breach. Many people are concerned that if a company can track fitness data, that information is at risk of falling into the wrong hands. That said, among the data collected, factors such as location and time of day are usually not recorded. When compared to the other data the businesses already have, your workouts are rather harmless.

Concerns Over the Future

Among the main worries are how the company will use the data in the future. Insurers have already said that they track fitness data to make it possible to calculate discounts. However, non-participants and those whose data shows they are not adequately active are not penalized with higher premiums. Still, not everyone is convinced that this will not change.

Moreover, some are concerned that the focus on steps and other recordable movements is too high. Yoga is extremely good for mental and physical health but is not typically recorded as a fitness activity by these devices. Many people believe that the devices simply aren’t at the point that they can accurately provide the type of data that these companies need to assess risk.

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