In a deal that certainly sounds too good to be true, life insurance company John Hancock is giving its customers the chance to get an Apple Watch Series 3 for just $25. The catch? Those customers will have to reach certain targets in two years, otherwise, they'll face monthly payments to pay off their new gear.
Mashable reports that the new program is called Vitality Rewards with Apple Watch and requires regular exercise throughout the two-year program. Whether they walk, bike, swim, ballroom dance, or just practice dance moves in the mirror, Vitality members have to earn 500 points to qualify for the $25 price tag. In a pilot program, the insurance company found that about half of Vitality members managed to commit to the 500-point goal and get the sweet deal. The company saw 20% of users in the trial increase their physical activity overall during the two years.
Vitality isn't the first time that fitness trackers have been used as an incentive for healthier living. Last year, Aetna had a program offering subsidized Apple Watches and before that, John Hancock and United Healthcare worked to get Fitbit trackers out to as many members as possible. The insurance companies are banking on the fact that healthier clients require less health care and have a higher quality of life overall. That can actually lower insurance costs across the board, since companies won't have to deal with certain issues that come with people leading sedentary lifestyles. John Hancock is also hoping to look at the data from the watches to personalize plans for individuals in addition to being a catalyst to healthier choices.
The insurer says that it won't be selling the collected data, so the company's 10 million customers don't have to worry about that. Mashable did have one warning: While privacy seems to be a non-issue, insurance rates could actually rise for some individuals if their health data pushes them into a different plan. However, John Hancock assures customers that that won't happen.
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