Politicians monitored for sleep, steps as part of life insurance wellness programs

Sally Loane image

Sally Loane

The Financial Services Council, which represents most of Australia’s life insurers, has launched the inaugural Parliamentary Friends of Insurance Group alongside MLC Life Insurance and AIA Australia.

At a launch event in Canberra on Wednesday 18 October, fitness data for three federal politicians – Senator Deborah O’Neill, Senator Dean Smith and Ms Terri Butler MP – was released to demonstrate how wearables and wellness programs can improve the health of Australians.

Each of the politicians wore a fitness tracker for one month to monitor step count, hours of sleep, heart rate and calories burned.

Their results were as follows:

Sally Loane, Chief Executive Officer at the FSC, said, “The life Insurance industry in Australia has been going through massive reform. It’s terrific to hear how insurers are using the latest technology to help people live longer and healthier lives, over and above providing insurance policies. These initiatives, which are beginning to merge positive health and life insurance outcomes, are very welcome.”

Life insurers are increasingly investing in wellness programs to help improve the health of their customers.

MLC On Track and AIA Vitality are examples of health and wellness programs designed to incentivise and reward customers for physical activity and positive health behaviours.

These programs deliver positive benefits for customers, as well as shared benefits for both government and insurers through lower health costs and lower claims.  It’s a win-win-win and gaining traction across the industry.

Damien Mu, Chief Executive Officer of AIA Australia and New Zealand said, “Most Australians are aware that we could, and should, be taking steps to improve our health. But we overestimate our ability to make healthy choices consistently, and underestimate the long-term harm caused by daily unhealthy decisions. By rewarding healthy behaviour, health and wellness programs are a proactive way for life insurers to make healthy choices the easiest choices and help people live longer, healthier, happier lives.”

David Hackett, Chief Executive Officer at MLC Life Insurance, said, “As the life insurance sector adapts to changing customer needs and the era of big data, it’s vital that insurers use technology to provide more value to customers and support them throughout their lives, rather than simply at the time of making a claim.

“It’s great to be recognised for the work we are doing to improve the health of customers – and for our parliamentary representatives to engage in this push, and support us to support our customers,” said Hackett.

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