Life Insurer John Hancock Will Give You Discounts for Your Apple Watch Data


Your Fitbit data could soon get you a life insurance discount. One of the biggest insurance companies in the U.S. is making interactive health data from personal devices like Fitbit and Apple Watch part of all its insurance plans, according to Reuters.

As part of John Hancock’s interactive life insurance policies, customers are rewarded for tracking their behavior, getting discounts on premiums, gift cards, and various other perks if they log workouts and record their health food purchases with the help of wearable devices and apps. Customers aren’t forced to log their data, but the perks are designed to incentivize people to do so. The idea is that customers are more motivated to stay healthy, theoretically reducing the number of life insurance payouts the company has to make.

John Hancock started offering its interactive life insurance—known as the Vitality program—in 2015, but now it’s making it available as part of all of its plans. Vitality Plus customers can get discounted or free Fitbits and Apple Watches, earn Amazon gift cards, and get a free annual subscription to the mindfulness app Headspace, among other benefits.

John Hancock Insurance CEO Brooks Tingle told Reuters that based on the data the program has gathered so far, its Vitality policyholders are estimated to live 13 to 21 years longer than the rest of its insured customers.

Similar programs are popular in the UK, and have already been implemented in the U.S. by health insurers like UnitedHealthcare. But not everyone is a fan. Privacy advocates argue that these policies could be intrusive and pose a security risk, since wearables can be hacked. As these programs become standard, consumers will essentially have to pay extra to keep their personal fitness data private from their insurance company. People who are willing to tell their insurance company about their literal every move will pay lower premiums than those who are reticent to strap on a fitness tracker. Not to mention the fact that consumer fitness trackers like Fitbit aren't always known for having the most reliable data.

We haven't quite reached that dystopian insurance future, though, and right now, the idea of getting a gift card just for hitting 10,000 steps a day still feels pretty exciting.

[h/t Reuters]

10 Simple Tricks for Charging Your Smartphone Faster

Makidotvn, iStock via Getty Images
Makidotvn, iStock via Getty Images

Smartphones always seem to reach low power at the least convenient moments possible. If you've ever urged your device to charge faster in the minutes before a phone interview or when you're about to board a plane, you can relate. While the easiest way to avoid this scenario is to plug in your device before the battery dips into the danger zone, if you've already reached this point, there are simple ways to speed up the charging process.

Some hacks for charging a phone faster involve steps you can take in anticipation of the next time you're surviving on minimum energy. Certain gadgets, like special chargers and battery packs, will power-up your device more efficiently than others. For moments when your phone is dying and all you have is your regular charging cable, adjusting your phone's settings to minimize the power it consumes also works in a pinch.

You can find some specific ways to charge your phone quickly below: 

  1. Plug it into a wall outlet instead of a USB port.
  1. Use a portable battery pack.
  1. Buy a special "fast" phone charger.
  1. Switch to low power mode.
  1. Switch to airplane mode.
  1. Let your phone drain completely on its own once a month to the extend the battery life.
  1. Close any background apps.
  1. Stop automatic app updates.
  1. Don't check your phone while it's charging
  1. Keep your phone out of the heat.

For more tricks for making your phone usage more efficient, check out these tips for typing faster.

The 20 Best States for Singles

monkeybusinessimages, iStock via Getty Images
monkeybusinessimages, iStock via Getty Images

Being single on Valentine's Day means you don't have to worry about cards, gifts, or date ideas. But if you'd like to do something romantic on February 14, your chances of snagging a date in time may depend on where you live. WalletHub crunched the numbers to create a definitive list of the best states to be single and looking for love in America.

To come up with its rankings, the personal finance site analyzed numerous data points for each state, including the proportion of single adults, nightlife and entertainment opportunities, and economic factors like cost of living. Combined, these qualities paint of picture of where you're most likely to find, afford, and enjoy a date.

Florida secured the number one position with a total score of 69.21 out of 100. Though it comes in 33rd out of the 50 states for economics, it places third for dating opportunities and fourth for romance and fun, earning it the top slot. It's followed by California with a score of 67.41 and Texas with 66.77. You can check out the top 20 states below, and see how all 50 states ranked at WalletHub.

  1. Florida // 69.21
  1. California // 67.41
  1. Texas // 66.77
  1. New York // 65.29
  1. Pennsylvania // 64.61
  1. Ohio // 63.10
  1. Illinois // 62.61
  1. Wisconsin // 61.13
  1. Massachusetts // 59.11
  1. Michigan // 58.56
  1. Arizona // 57.22
  1. New Jersey // 56.71
  1. Georgia // 56.11
  1. Colorado // 56.01
  1. North Carolina // 55.58
  1. Minnesota // 55.42
  1. Virginia // 54.98
  1. Washington // 54.76
  1. Missouri // 54.29
  1. Nevada // 53.64

The world uses Valentine's Day to celebrate romance, but you can take it as an opportunity to embrace singledom in 2020. If that's your plan, here are some vintage tips for living alone to keep in mind.