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Australia's Life Insurance Industry Gets a Facelift through Smartwatch Technology

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Australia's Life Insurance Industry Gets a Facelift through Smartwatch Technology

November 12, 2015
By Joe Rizzo
Contributing Writer

When a company or an industry hits upon a method of doing something, it tends to be the model forever. As technology in every field continues to mature and evolve, we are seeing that a lot of what can be considered the “old way of doing things” is also evolving and changing, hopefully for the better.

For as long as I can remember, insurance companies have always followed the same pattern. You visit a doctor for a physical then based on the results and your age you are offered a policy for which every month you pay the same amount.

MLC Limited is National Australia Bank's wealth management partner providing investment, superannuation, insurance and financial advice to corporate, institutional and retail customers. It is also an insurance company that is taking technology in hand and using it to modernize how it determines their life insurance premiums.

If you look at most wrists today you will see some sort of fitness tracker or smartwatch. While the wellness tracking apps are mostly used as personal fitness aides, MLC sees an additional use and has developed a new program.

MLC On Track is a program which will allow customers to measure their daily physical activity and health data through the use of an Intel (News - Alert) Basis Peak fitness and sleep tracker. Based on the information, customers will be rewarded for healthy behavior, which comes in the form of a life insurance premium discount for the life of their insurance policy.

David Hackett, is the executive general manager, insurance at MLC. He feels that “The insurance industry has assessed risk in the same way for a long time but smartwatches offer new and improved ways of assessing and pricing insurance risk. In today’s environment, it’s imperative that we are agile and adaptive so that we can deliver simple and better experiences for our customers. Insurance companies need to be relevant to their customers beyond a potential claim.”

The program is pretty simple and straightforward, MLC’s customers will have a wellness target score that they need to achieve between 90 and 160 days. If they are successful they will receive a five percent discount on their policy. The program goes one step further and offers this option twice, meaning that there is the potential of receiving a 10 percent discount, applicable to the life of their policy.

Hackett went on to say, “The MLC On Track program is part of our commitment to integrate innovation throughout our insurance business. We’re continually seeking new ways to enhance the offering to our customers, and the program will deliver financial savings while encouraging them to live healthy lifestyles.” MLC expects to launch this new program on November 23.

Edited by Peter Bernstein

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