Manulife Vitality: Changing the conversation for life insurance advisors

How health and wellness is changing the insurance industry

Manulife Vitality: Changing the conversation for life insurance advisors

Life & Health

By Bethan Moorcraft

This article was produced in partnership with Manulife Canada.

Bethan Moorcraft, of Insurance Business, sat down with Paul Savage, head of individual insurance at Manulife Canada, to discuss Manulife Vitality and why life insurance advisors should focus on health and wellness. 

Canadians care deeply about their wellness, and their interest is only growing as the country rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic with a fresh outlook on personal health and wellbeing. This social focus presents immense opportunities for life insurance advisors, according to Manulife Canada.

The Toronto-based multinational insurance company follows the principal that insurance should be “more than protecting your loved ones; it’s about living your life to the fullest”. Life insurance advisors can turn that message into action by encouraging term life insurance clients to engage with Manulife Vitality, an innovative product that allows clients to earn rewards and save on their insurance premiums while improving their health.

“Manulife Vitality is a health and wellness program that can be added to a Manulife term life insurance policy. It rewards clients for making healthy decisions,” explained Paul Savage (pictured), head of individual insurance, Manulife Canada. “This program provides shared value in that it benefits society, while also benefiting our bottom line. It is a very natural fit for the insurance industry.

“When our customers engage in healthy behaviours and take steps to live healthier and longer lives, that’s good for them, it’s good for their families, and it’s good for society as a whole because it reduces the burden on the healthcare sector. It’s also good for us because if our customers are living healthier and longer lives, they’re less likely to claim on their insurance policies, or they’re not claiming on them for a longer period of time.”

Launched in 2016, Manulife Vitality now has tens of thousands of members across Canada, who are tracking their everyday healthy activities through a customized, goal-oriented program, and with the help of Manulife Vitality tips and convenient easy-to-use tools such as wearable devices.

“The Manulife Vitality program is built on the concept of: Do healthy things and be rewarded for it,” Savage told Insurance Business. “Society, in general, tends to over-consume healthcare and under-consume wellness activities. People will visit a doctor when they’re sick, but they’re less likely to do things that will prevent sickness in the first place. So, there’s a lot of behavioural science that goes into this question of: How do we drive healthy behaviours?

“I believe that everyone wants to live a long and healthy life, but when we’re making those healthy lifestyle decisions like going to the gym or passing up on our favourite comfort foods, we’re taking a short-term cost for a benefit that’s far out in the future. We’re flipping that on its head with Manulife Vitality by giving people instant rewards for healthy lifestyle decisions, while also steering them towards the longer-term benefits of living healthier.”

When Manulife term life insurance customers engage with Manulife Vitality, they can track their healthy behaviours through an app, and they can then earn points and one of four Vitality StatusTM levels: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. New members receive an initial premium discount, which can change each year, up or down, depending on the Vitality status they achieve. This gives life insurance advisors and customers more control and influence over the cost of their term life insurance.

Manulife Vitality gives life insurance advisors “the edge,” according to Savage. He said it helps advisors to stand out from the crowd because it transforms the product they’re selling from a traditional insurance contract to a new kind of insurance that clients can interact with and feel the benefits of immediately.

“It changes the whole conversation around life insurance,” Savage added. “Instead of focusing on negative elements, like what could cause a claim – death, sickness, and disability – life insurance advisors can now talk about the benefits of healthy living and all of the great things their clients can get if they engage with Manulife Vitality. It has changed the conversation from something quite negative and transactional to something a lot more positive.”

Proof that the program works lies in its net promoter score (NPS). For typical financial products, the NPS hovers around 0, which means there are as many people promoting the product as there are people detracting from the product. However, Savage shared that the Manulife Vitality NPS has been as high as 50 in its six years of existence. “That leads to all sorts of good things,” he said. “It means our customers are more likely to refer their insurance advisor and Manulife to their friends and families.”

Learn more about Manulife Vitality here.

Insurance products are issued by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company. The Vitality Group Inc., in association with The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, provides the Manulife Vitality program. The Manulife Vitality program is available with select policies. Please consult your financial representative to learn more and find out if you qualify for this product. Vitality is a trademark of The Vitality Group International Inc., and is used by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and its affiliates under license. Vitality and Vitality Status are trademarks of The Vitality Group International, Inc., and are used by The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and its affiliates under license. 

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