In The News

Mon 14 Mar 2016

Get Paid To Be Healthy


Finance & Insurance

Sounds like one of those get rich quick schemes or miracle diets – but don’t roll your eyes and press delete quite yet.

Anyone who has come to one of my seminars knows that I really don’t love talking about insurance. Yes it is 100% necessary but it is also seriously morbid. I have this picture in my mind of 100 soulless actuaries sitting behind computer screens calculating probabilities of when you are going to die or contract some horrible disease.

Well how about we turn that picture on its head – I see bamboo floors, natural light and a 100 new wave actuaries calculating how to keep you healthy and make you live a longer. Sound better?

Well it’s not so new wave and sci fi as you may think – it exists in the real world. While a relatively new concept in Australia it has already been taken up by over 5 million people around the globe.

This is how it works. Clearly paying out on an insurance policy (life, TPD, trauma or income protection) is expensive for an insurance company. The more of your premiums they can keep and the longer they can keep them the more profitable they can be. So how do they do this?

Statistics show that 63% of deaths worldwide (and probably a much % higher in Australia) are caused by non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardio vascular disease, cancer and lung diseases. Eating badly, not exercising and smoking are significant contributing factors.

But these are controllable behaviours. So the solution is simple – just modify human behaviour!

Clearly, it is not that easy.

This is where behavioural science comes in to the picture. These wonderful new wave actuaries have worked out that you can actually influence human behaviour by offering small rewards for each achievement (like a sticker chart for adults) and bigger rewards as behaviour is improved over the long term.

The insurance company attaches a wellness plan to the insurance product. As you engage in healthy behaviour – any sort of exercise, eating fruit and veg and not smoking you get points and rewards – movie vouchers, Myer vouchers, cheap air tickets (holidays are essential to good health). And as your behaviour is modified over the longer term you get cheaper insurance premiums.

I absolutely love the concept – bring it on – reward me for being healthy!

Personally I find it like my own online personal trainer – so nice to have someone look after me for a change!

Keep in mind that this sort of plan is not right for everyone. It is always important to look at your personal circumstances and consider other alternatives.

Disclaimer

Marisa Hoffenberg and Growth Point Financial Pty, Ltd. Are Authorised Representatives of Synchron, ABN 33 007 207 650, 243313. This is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal advice. It does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making a financial decision you should assess whether the advice is appropriate for your individual investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. We recommend that you consult a professional financial adviser who will assist you. The information and certain references, where indicated, are taken from sources believed to be accurate and correct. To the extent permitted by the law, Synchron, its representatives, officers and employees accept no liability for any person that relies on the information contained herein.


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