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3 in 10 Americans would likely share tracker data with insurers

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Thirty percent of consumers are very or extremely likely to consider sharing the data from an activity tracker (Fitbit, Jawbone, etc.) with a life insurance company if they received financial incentives in return for healthy behaviors, according to LIMRA’s 2016 Insurance Barometer.

Among those who already use a device, willingness to share more than doubles to 65 percent, the survey data shows. Just over 1 in 5 consumers (22 percent) use an activity tracker to monitor calories burned, active minutes, heart rate, sleep, etc.

Among consumers who would consider sharing their activity tracker results with a life insurance company, 6 in 10 say they would do so for financial savings (such as premium decreases or travel, shopping, and entertainment incentives.) Establishing wellness goals/making healthier choices was noted by 57 percent and getting a free tracking device was a major incentive for 48 percent. 

LIMRA also conducted a similar study that explored different aspects of sharing data from activity trackers. In that study, researchers identified five consumer groups who are the most receptive to allowing companies to monitor their health:

  • Heavy users of frequent-shopper card programs

  • People who consider themselves “very knowledgeable” about finance

  • Owners of fitness trackers

  • People who trust life insurance companies with their personal information

  • Millennials

In the 2016 Barometer study, just over 35 percent of people would not consider sharing their activity tracker results with an insurance company. Of that group, 6 in 10 are concerned about sharing too much personal information, citing privacy concerns.

A small group (17 percent) said they would be reluctant to share their data because they are not very active. Leveraging activity tracker data opens a new opportunity for insurers to gain greater insight about their customers, while encouraging healthy behavior. Because most people who already own an activity tracker are willing to share their data, the opportunity to for the industry can only grow as consumer use of activity trackers increases.  

See the next page for a chart highlighting survey results (Click on chart to enlarge.)