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Putting the life back in life insurance and helping their customers live “longer, healthier, better lives"


Where did the life insurance industry go wrong? To the average consumer, it’s more about death – than life.

The insurance company, John Hancock Financial, is trying to change that perception.

VP, Head of Behavioral Insurance Lindsay Hanson joined our life insurance podcast Life Accelerated. And she revealed how John Hancock is putting the life back in life insurance and helping their customers live “longer, healthier, better lives.” This is what we learned:

Innovate with your customers

Life insurance providers can’t operate in a silo. To truly meet the needs of the market and your customers, you need to speak with them, understand their frustrations, and solve their problems.

John Hancock changed the way they approached innovation by working hand-in-hand with their customers. First, to learn what obstacles they had in the life insurance buying process and generally, in their lives. Then, to offer products that help them overcome those hurdles.

“We wanted to hear from our customers. We wanted to engage with them in a different way and offer them different opportunities, and that really opened the door for us to be able to do that and to partner with some of these other companies.”

Born out of this partnership with their customers, John Hancock offers Apple Watches (almost free) to their customers to help them live longer, healthier, better lives.

Partner with industry leaders to offer new products & services

You can’t be everything to everyone.

John Hancock realized this when their customers wanted more than their typical life insurance products. But it didn’t make sense to dedicate the resources or build anything in-house when they could partner with industry leaders to achieve the same goals on behalf of their customers.

“We are very good as an organization at the financial tools, products, [and] life insurance we need to build and bring forward. It was about finding and seeking partners that do the things that we wanted to bring to our customers extremely well.”

John Hancock joined forces with household names like Amazon and Apple to offer completely new products to their customers and satisfy their demands.

But it wasn’t just about mutual benefits – but values. When you partner with organizations with similar goals and a matched vision for your customers, “that’s really where the magic happens,” Lindsay said.

With more data comes more responsibility

Digital transformation has been a boon for the life insurance industry. Customers no longer need to fill out tedious paperwork or visit a local branch to accomplish simple tasks. With online applications, streamlined underwriting and other insurance software solutions incorporated into strong data structures-life insurance companies collect more personal health data on their customers than ever before.

But at the same time, privacy and security are bigger concerns for consumers. It’s imperative, Lindsay says, life insurance companies treat that data with respect.

For example, John Hancock asks customers only for relevant personal health information. They’re even rewarded for sharing it. But while all data sharing is optional, it’s never shared or sold with third parties.

“If a customer wants to engage, they can. But they can do it through a variety of ways. It allows them to be in control of what data they're sharing with us. We're giving the information back to them as a way of currency – We're willing to give you a discount on your life insurance premium.”

• • • • •

Wrap-up: An example of data privacy and data management

John Hancock has been working to help its customers focus on their vitality and well-being – incentivizing their customers to live longer and healthier lives. Their digital transformation has brought on partnerships with key players, such as Apple, enabling them to also collect more data and make more strategic and individualized decisions. However, with all the added benefits digital transformation brings, come added responsibilities – such as the management of people’s data and their privacy.

To find out how John Hancock is leveraging partnerships in order to spearhead innovation and create products that meet their customers’ needs, check out the podcast.

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