Begin building deeper client connections with this unique insurance offering.
A thriving advisor business involves strategic planning to secure a pipeline of loyal clients and, hopefully, referrals. In a sea of sameness, your competitive advantage lies in what sets your business apart. Finding a differentiator can help you stand out from the crowd. That differentiator could be adding Manulife Vitality to your life insurance lineup.
Back in 2016, Manulife Vitality became available as part of the Family Term™ insurance product and has since been added to Manulife Universal Life (UL) and Manulife Par products. The program signals a significant industry shift towards what’s known today as behavioural life insurance – where clients are rewarded for making positive changes that benefit their overall health and well-being.
This relatively new model for life insurance in Canada offers a unique opportunity, including better client retention and more referrals. For advisors, Manulife Vitality can help you to partner with your clients by using healthy living as the common thread for frequent engagement.
Changing the narrative on life insurance
Imagine a world in which your life insurance provider helps you live a longer, healthier life. That’s the Manulife Vitality mission: encouraging Canadians to take better care of themselves through preventive actions – and rewarding them for doing so.
Michael Dawson, with the Manulife Vitality sales team, says this program signals a tremendous opportunity to revitalize the life insurance category, where traditionally there’s been very little interaction between the customer and the advisor.
“For our advisors who are really engaged with the Vitality program, they find they’re becoming a more holistic advisor, taking an interest in a client’s physical and mental, as well as their financial, well-being,” says Dawson. “There are more opportunities for engagement, such as congratulating clients for reaching a higher Vitality Status™ or touching base to see if they need any assistance in ordering a new wearable technology item. And, as this positive relationship grows between client and advisor, there’s the potential for increased sales and referrals.”
Rewarding better health
A behavioural insurance program like Manulife Vitality seeks to encourage clients to make better choices through a rewards-based approach. Members earn Vitality Points for completing simple health-related activities, such as walking, eating healthier meals and getting regular checkups. As clients earn points, they are climbing towards a higher Vitality Status™, from zero points (Bronze level) up to 10,000 points (Platinum level). The more points, the more financial rewards.
When purchasing an eligible Term or UL policy, Vitality members are rewarded with a 10 per cent discount on the cost of insurance for their first policy year. To maintain that discount in each subsequent year, members need to achieve Gold-level status. They can even earn a 15 per cent discount if they reach Platinum level. For participating life insurance, there’s no premium discount, but members have the potential to earn Vitality dividends based on their achieved status. It’s important to note that a member’s Vitality Status resets every year.
“There’s a lot of motivation for clients to stay engaged within the program, and it’s really important that advisors understand that earning points within the Vitality program isn’t difficult,” says Dawson. “A client can earn 10,000 points in a program year through physical activity, going to the dentist, getting recommended vaccinations and so much more.”
What’s in it for advisors?
As an advisor, you might have questions about Manulife Vitality, such as:
- If I recommend Vitality to my clients, how confident can I be that they’re going to participate in the program?
- This program looks like a lot of work. What’s in it for me?
Data collected from member surveys and program usage reports indicates that Vitality clients are more engaged.
- Vitality members engage with the program an average of 22 times per month.1
- 96 per cent complete their annual Vitality Health Review™.2
- Vitality members are 52 per cent more satisfied with their life insurance than non-members.3
Advisors who participate in the program may also experience a business boost. Here’s how:
More opportunities for engagement: Congratulate clients for reaching a higher Vitality status, or touch base to see if they need any assistance ordering a wearable.
Reach new markets: Advisors may find that the Vitality program offers a bridge to reach new, younger clients through established older clients (parents). And vice versa for younger advisors, who may be able to connect more easily with older clients who want to engage in the program to improve their health.
Differentiation: No other insurer offers this program in Canada. Advisors who become fully engaged with the program find they are taking an interest in their clients’ physical and mental well-being, in addition to their financial well-being.
What advisors are saying
Excerpt from Manulife Exchange podcast, Going beyond financial protection with Manulife Vitality:
“I think the Vitality program changes the perception of life insurance because there are immediate benefits for a policyholder, and there’s a meaningful connection that a client can have with their advisor. Traditionally, you’d maybe get a policy summary from an insurance carrier once a year with a call from your advisor to review that policy. Now this [Manulife Vitality program] really provides the opportunity to connect with clients in a totally different way – whether it’s pings on your Apple Watch, or a client feeling good about winning a gift card, or incentives for going to the gym and working out, and really making sure that clients are taking advantage of travel credits available to them. That’s huge value, along with clients hitting their fitness goals. This all helps to change the perception of life insurance.”
Adam Beach, insurance and financial advisor
Excerpt from Manulife Exchange podcast, How Manulife Vitality can increase client engagement – with the help of social media:
“With typical Term insurance without Vitality, you’ll sell a client a policy and then don’t hear from them again until it’s time for a policy renewal. With a Vitality policy, I feel like you’re hearing from your clients more often. I have at least one touchpoint a year where I personally reach out to them to review the Vitality Status summary. For clients that earn Platinum, I send them a handwritten note with a gift card congratulating them for achieving Platinum status. For clients who haven’t reached Platinum, we send them an email reviewing their Vitality summary with information about any change in their monthly premium, and tips on how they can earn Platinum status for the premium discount. That annual review is an opportunity to find out what else is going on in a client’s life and how you might be able to support them.”
Delta Sciur, insurance and financial advisor
Excerpt from Manulife Exchange podcast, Get the edge to drive your business forward with Manulife Vitality:
“When I do an insurance needs analysis for a client, Vitality is always part of that. I look for gaps in that client’s financial picture and ensure their family is protected. Earlier this year I delivered a $100,000 critical illness cheque to a client with cancer. This was a long-term client with two young kids, and that critical illness coverage came from a conversation we initially had about life insurance coverage. Income replacement is a major component of an overall financial plan. When I look at holistic planning, clients will have their Vitality plan set up and I’ll discuss critical illness coverage at that same time. I would say 75 to 80 per cent of my applications with Vitality also include a critical illness application that’s submitted at the same time because we’ve had a discussion about the impact on the family if they were unable to work because of illness. Everyone has known someone who’s had cancer, and you just need to ask the client to think about what that person went through, and if critical illness might have made things a bit easier.”
Percy MacDonald, insurance and financial advisor
Incorporating the Manulife Vitality program into your business might be the differentiator you’ve been looking for. Set up a meeting with your wholesaler to learn more, and visit this section of Advisor Portal.
1 Manulife Vitality dashboard report, The Vitality Group, 2022.
2 Verified by Vitality Health Check of Manulife Vitality members who had readings in 2019 and 2020.
3 Internal data comparing Canada Insurance NPS with Canada Insurance Vitality NPS, 2022.