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Rewards for healthy choices

Steer clients towards financial, physical and mental wellness with Manulife Vitality.

During the pandemic, Canadians became more conscious about their health – financial, physical and mental – and adopted digital tools like never before. How should you, as an advisor, capitalize on these trends? 

While access to quality health care has never been more important, there’s also a growing need for guidance on how to adopt a healthy lifestyle. A Manulife poll across our lines of business collected data from employed Canadians aged 25 to 64 and found that the pandemic negatively affected the mental health of more than half of respondents (55 per cent).[1] Another recent Manulife study found that Canadians facing deepening wellness challenges during this unprecedented time increased their use of digital tools to manage and improve their health.[2]

Lead the insurance conversation with health and wellness

Along with these trends, the need for advisor-client interactions rooted in health and wellness is growing. While clients look to their advisor as a mentor who can provide thoughtful advice, traditional insurance products don’t allow advisors to talk about health in a positive way. That’s why we partnered with the Vitality Group to launch the Manulife Vitality program in 2016. Manulife Vitality allows advisors to convey an encouraging and positive sales story centred on healthy living. It goes beyond the financial needs analysis to empower clients to take control of their wellness – and rewards them for doing so. As one advisor puts it: “Manulife Vitality has helped to move the conversation from being about the lowest premiums to focusing on enhanced health opportunities (which also happens to result in lower premiums!).”

Clients can add the program to their Family Term with Vitality life insurance or Flexcare and FollowMe health and dental insurance policy. After clients join, they can earn points for activities that benefit their health, track their progress on a mobile app and then earn rewards and premium savings with their points. In essence, the program makes it possible for insurance to reward clients for healthy living.

The program is always on the lookout for opportunities to expand and support an even broader range of clients’ physical and mental health needs. Recent additions include earning points for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and for meditation (HealthyMind). The program’s evolving reward program continues to expand with exciting partners such as the new Amazon Prime membership and the HelloFresh reward that can save clients up to $144 annually on meal kits.

The response to these new components of the program has been very positive. By the end of May 2020, more than 3,500 members had submitted proof of COVID-19 vaccination, resulting in more than 2.5 million Vitality Points awarded across individual insurance and group benefits. Since HealthyMind launched at the end of April, insurance clients have completed more than 30,649 meditation sessions. And within 48 hours of the HelloFresh reward launch, 392 Manulife Vitality members had snapped up their discount.

You build more business when you lead with health

Business-savvy advisors know the value of referrals and continuous engagement with their existing clients. Recent industry insights from LIMRA show that 48 per cent of advisors’ sales consist of cross-selling to existing clients and that 29 per cent of sales originate from referrals from the existing client base.[3] The Vitality program provides advisors with a reason to keep in touch with their clients – from completing their Vitality Health Review to ordering their free wearable, congratulating them on achieving a certain Vitality Status or reminding them to arrange their free annual health check, there are many opportunities for interactions. One advisor described the added value of the program like this: “Usually insurance policies remain dormant in closets or in a drawer … someplace that it can’t seem to be found when one needs it. Manulife Vitality is about participation; it’s a policy for living. Clients always remember how the policy works and how it rewards you. The online tools make it easier to track everything. In a competitive situation, Manulife Vitality is a differentiator. PERIOD.” 

Happier and more engaged clients equal more wholehearted referrals and greater client retention. Since clients interact with and experience benefit from the program on a regular basis, they are much more likely to tell friends and family about their experience, and at the same time, less likely to lapse their policies, based on the Vitality Group’s research. 

The evolving role of insurance

In the coming years, it’s likely that more clients will adopt digital tools to help them live healthier lives – and an increasing number will ask for insurance with features that reward them for using these tools to improve their health. In a Manulife study that surveyed Canadians in the past year on their health and use of digital tools, there was a 59 per cent increase in the use of health apps for respondents who have them.[4] Among those who use health apps, 78 per cent use their fitness apps every day or almost every day.[5] All of this underscores the importance of getting to know the ins and outs of new behaviour-based insurance products, like the Manulife Vitality program, so you can ride the growth curve and prepare your business for what’s to come.

In the context of an increasingly digital and health-conscious world, we welcome you to consider providing more value to clients than just another policy and joining the movement towards a new kind of insurance that focuses on a holistic approach to your clients’ well-being. 

For more information about the Manulife Vitality program, click here

A chart illustrating what rewards you can earn with Manulife Vitality.

[1] Manulife 2020 Wellness Report.

[2] Manulife Poll 1 - Mental Health Vitality Report, 2021.

[3] https://www.limra.com/en

[4] Manulife Poll 1 - Mental Health Vitality Report, 2021

[5] Manulife Poll 1 - Mental Health Vitality Report, 2021

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