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Brooks Tingle, president and chief executive officer of John Hancock Insurance, spearheads the insurance giant’s life insurance operations, including its data-enabled Vitality program. The program provides benefits that encourage healthy lifestyles and tracks progress with wearable smart devices.

Tingle is a 15-year veteran of John Hancock, where he has also served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for John Hancock Life Insurance Company. He is also a member of the global leadership team of John Hancock’s parent company Manulife Financial, and a member of the Board of The Partnership, Inc., the Board of The Life Insurance Council of New York, Inc. and The Citizen Schools Massachusetts Advisory Board.

In this interview with Karma Network’s Producer Christopher Scali, Tingle discusses the competitive advantages the tech-savvy Vitality program provides for the firm as well as provides insights into how John Hancock manages sensitive personal data.

Christopher Scali: How does John Hancock compete with other companies? Are you simply offering discounts from an overpriced product so the net premium is now just competitive?

Brooks Tingle: John Hancock has a full suite of highly competitive life insurance products, and if customers choose to engage in the Vitality program, the products can become even more competitive. We also believe your life insurance company should help you live a longer, healthier life. With our announcement that Vitality benefits will now be available on all our life insurance products, we are now the only U.S. life insurance company to fully embrace behavioral-based wellness.

By incentivizing customers to participate in healthy daily activities, including exercising, eating well, practicing mindfulness, getting regular screenings, and improving sleep habits, Americans can live healthier and longer lives. This type of shared value solution is good for everybody.

Christopher Scali: How does the Vitality program work?

Tingle: Customers earn Vitality Points for a variety of healthy activities including exercise, eating well, practicing mindfulness, getting regular health screenings, and getting a good night’s sleep. Those points determine their Vitality Status and the higher their status, the greater their rewards and opportunity for premium savings each year.

Christopher Scali: Is there an age limit for John Hancock Vitality goals needed to meet the premium discount?

Tingle: John Hancock Vitality is available on all issued policies for ages 20 to 90. We have customized the program to recognize that a person’s health and wellness goals change as they get older.

Christopher Scali: What does John Hancock do with the data that it collects from customers? Do you share it with other companies?

Tingle: The information is used to encourage customer engagement with the program and reward customers for participating in healthy activities. We do not sell customer information and only share it with approved third parties to administer the program.

John Hancock is committed to respecting and protecting our customers’ personal information. Respect for our clients’ privacy, especially with regard to health‐related information, has been paramount at John Hancock for more than 150 years. We have organizational, physical, and technical safeguards in place to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data entrusted to us. Through the application process, customers can select and authorize the method, type, and amount of information they share. The information is used to encourage customer engagement with the program and reward customers for participating in healthy activities.

Christopher Scali: Will John Hancock update the devices for the insured as technology improves?

Tingle: In order to stay on the leading edge and keep up with consumers’ changing needs, we have continually innovated and evolved the John Hancock Vitality program since its inception in 2015. New benefits and features have included Healthy Food program gives consumers the opportunity to save up to $600 a year on their healthy food purchases.

Apple Watch customers can earn the latest Apple Watch for as little as $25 for exercising regularly. And HealthyMind benefit rewards customers for meditating and sleeping well.

Christopher Scali: How does John Hancock know the insured is not cheating the system? Can the insured manipulate Vitality Go to help them get ahead?

Tingle: Our primary goal is to encourage customers to take small, sustainable steps to help them live a healthier and longer life. We’ve seen a high level engagement from our customers as they submit their healthy activities via the mobile app, John Hancock Vitality website, or fitness device.

Since the program’s inception in April 2015, John Hancock Vitality customers have taken nearly twice as many steps as the average American, logged more than 3 million healthy activities including walking, swimming, and biking. They also earned nearly $3 million in rewards.

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