Someone’s got the bright dystopian idea of using fitness tracker data to individualize health insurance rates. The “Pay as You Live” concept is based on “Pay as You Drive” insurance programs such as Progressive’s Snapshot, where you snap a dongle in your car to track how you drive; safer behaviors supposedly result in lower car insurance rates. Some members of the British financial community are predicting this will extend to health insurance as well.
Like the car insurance programs, Pay As You Live would involve some kind of wearable hardware or perhaps a smartphone app provided by the insurance company to track your every waking breath.
Malcolm Kerr, senior financial advisor for Ernst & Young, thinks a program that gives policyholders electronic feedback and lets them track premiums will work just as well for health insurance as for car insurance. “Pay As You Live” will make use of the kind of biometric data many of us are already tracking with our fitness trackers and smartphones. Left unaddressed is the matter that most wrist-worn trackers are not particularly accurate, and don’t measure nearly as many useful data points as a black-box car recorder.
“This will help to make protection insurance more interesting and interactive,” said Kerr. “This seems like a great way to get young people buying insurance, as they can directly see the impact their lifestyle changes have on the price of premiums, and if it is helping people stay healthy then surely it is a win-win.”