MLC "On Track" to boost life expectancy

16 November 2015
Australians will be able to save on their life insurance premium by simply exercising and living a healthier lifestyle, thanks to an Australian-first initiative from MLC.

MLC On Track will allow customers to measure daily physical activity and health data using an Intel® Basis Peak fitness and sleep tracker. Customers will be rewarded for healthy behaviour, with a life insurance premium discount for the life of their insurance policy.

Under the program, which includes access to a Basis Peak smartwatch and a personalised Customer Dashboard , customers will be provided with a target wellness score, based on a number of factors, including step count, active hours, sleep duration and average resting heart rate.

Customers will have between 90 and 160 days to achieve their target wellness score to receive a 5 per cent discount.  This opportunity will be available twice, which means customers could receive a maximum discount of 10 per cent off their insurance premiums for the life of their policy.

MLC is hoping that it will be a game-changer that shakes up the insurance industry.

“The insurance industry has assessed risk in the same way for a long time but smartwatches offer new and improved ways of assessing and pricing insurance risk,” said David Hackett, Executive General Manager Insurance.


Canstar caught up with Fiona Guscott, Chief Underwriter at MLC, for some more information on how the new technology will work.

Q: How did MLC decide on the length of time (90 – 160 days) that customers will have to reach their goals?

A: As you know there is so much material in the public domain that talks about the positive impact general wellness and lifestyle habits have on our overall health.   The 90 – 160 days really comes from our assessment of how long we think it takes for someone to form, and stick to, a new habit.

As an example, to be eligible for a 5% discount in 90 days you would need to walk 10,000 steps or do an hour of activity, sleep between 7 and 9 hours, have a resting heart rate lower than 85BPM and wear your watch for at least 18 hours – every day for 90 days.  We think if you do that for 90 consecutive days, you’re well on your way to maintaining a new habit.  For most people we do think it will take a bit longer to form sticky habits, and so that’s why we included a maximum of 160 days.

Q: Can you expand on how the target wellness score will be calculated?

A: The target score is 900 points and is the same for everyone that participates in the MLC On Track program.  If a customer achieves their maximum 10 points every day, they’ll be eligible for their first discount in 90 days.

Points are accumulated based on step count, active hours, sleep duration and how long you wear the watch.  Points earned can be reduced if your resting heart rate is too high.

Q: If someone is already fit, will there still be a target score they can achieve?

A: At this time the target score is the same for everyone.  If someone’s already fit and can achieve their target score more easily – that’s okay.  This just means they are in the pool of people that we think have the best wellness habits and they should be rewarded appropriately.  At the moment, premium rates don’t really take account of this.

Obesity is a huge challenge for Australian society – to what extent do you think that this type of technology and MLC program could be a real game-changer to kick start healthy habits?

A: We think it’s a huge game changer for the life insurance industry.  We’ve assessed insurance the same way for a very long time.  We know that wellness and lifestyle impact overall health, so why wouldn’t we make this part of the way we assess and interact with our customers?  We want to reward good behaviour.  It leads to happier, more engaged customers and in the longer terms we think it will lessen the insurance burden, as customers will be healthier.

The On Track initiative will be available to new MLC customers.

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