A $25 Apple Watch? This insurer says yes

Last year, insurance company John Hancock introduced a program for certain customers to get an Apple Watch for $25 in exchange for recording their daily activity. The activity goes toward points that reduce (or eliminate) the monthly payments for the wearable. That program has proven very successful for the company, which has announced that it is now an option for all of its current and future John Hancock Vitality life insurance customers.

The idea of using money as an incentive to get up and exercise is nothing new, though it hasn't always proven successful (turns out some people would just rather lose the money than exercise). John Hancock has had positive results with its Apple Watch offer, though. The insurer says its Vitality customers who took advantage of the deal were recorded using it six out of seven days a week.

Based on their data, the company says these customers increased the number of steps they take a day by an average of 2,000. They also saw a 20-percent increase in activity per week and about half of the users record enough activity to completely eliminate their monthly Apple Watch device. Talking about this, the company's VP of Marketing and Strategy Brooks Tingle said, "Apple Watch appears to inspire increases in physical activity across all our customers."

The arrival of fitness trackers and smartwatches had spurred speculation that insurance companies would utilize the devices in some way to get customers moving and, hopefully, cut costs by encouraging them to exercise regularly.

That's what John Hancock is doing via its offer; customers have the chance to get the Apple Watch for only $25, assuming they get up and exercise enough every day to eliminate each month's device cost over the course of two years. The program gives customers an Apple Watch Series 3 and requires having the customer share their physical activity with the insurer.

SOURCE: John Hancock