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News & Views

Thursday, Sep 29, 2016

Burn calories to lower health insurance cost

[Source : The Times of India]

Chennai: Burn more calories, pay less? Well, Hitting the gym everyday may help you gain more rewards than usual. Insurers are now looking at making health covers cheaper for their more fitness-conscious customers by tracking their health routine.

In a variable premium product, Cigna TTK Health Insurance on Wednesday launched its 'pay-as-you- workout' concept, where it is offering to charge its policyholders less if they manage to burn more in calories.

Earlier this week, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance had also launched a variable premium product with its 'pay-as-you-drive' motor insurance policy — enabled by telematics technology.

Cigna TTK Health has launched 'Get ProActiv India', where policyholders get rewarded for being fit. "We have a mobile app, which you can sync with any fitness wearable from Fitbit, Garmin or pedometers. The mobile app will maintain a daily log of your activities. The more you workout, the higher the reward points on the app. At the end of the year, you can use the points to pay less for your policy or use them towards availing of other health benefits like pharmacy bills, doctors' consultations," says Sandeep Patel, CEO & MD, CignaTTK Health Insurance.

While walking activity gets automatically updated on the app, for non-trackable activities like yoga, aerobics and dance, policyholders have the option of manually entering activity log. "Healthy reward points are earned based on the quantum of physical activity, and One point earned equals Re 1. High-intensity workouts like cycling, swimming and weight training can make the reward points ticker soar," says Cigna's Patel.

Two other private insurers are also contemplating launching a product with differential pricing based on the policyholder's fitness record. At an exploratory stage, the insurers are looking at whether they want to hand out the tracking devices themselves or tie up with a fitness device provider.

Dutch insurer Aegon Life has been looking at using data analytics for differential pricing of insurance products based on live health data streamed from wearables. "We are looking at using activity trackers like Fitbit to collect health data from individuals for pricing of life insurance. This sort of thing is already happening in motor insurance where pricing is decided by how the insured drives the vehicle," said Hiek van der Scheer, head of data and analytics at Aegon, had said in an earlier interview to TOI.

Cigna TTK said this latest initiative is part of its overall attention to fitness and well-being. Earlier this year, the insurer launch a "health coach" programme, where policyholders can avail of a personal fitness expert, dietitians and a doctor to draw up a diet chart and fitness regimen based on their individual needs.

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