Your online habits are used to rate you for life insurance

Spooked by the lack of privacy?  I am.

On the other hand, this provides mountains of data that can demonstrate what healthy behaviors are and are not, as well or better than more expensive blood and urine tests.

An example from an article in the Wall Street Journal:

At the seminar, a consultant helped explain Deloitte’s concept by discussing imaginary 40-year-old insurance buyers, “Beth” and “Sarah.”

Using readily available data, the consultant said, an insurer could learn that Beth commutes some 45 miles to work, frequently buys fast food, walks for exercise, watches a lot of television, buys weight-loss equipment and has “foreclosure/bankruptcy indicators,” according to slides used in the presentation.

“Sarah,” on the other hand, commutes just a mile to work, runs, bikes, plays tennis and does aerobics. She eats healthy food, watches little TV and travels abroad. She is an “urban single” with a premium bank card and “good financial indicators.”

Deloitte’s approach, the consultant said, indicates Sarah appears to fall into a healthier risk category. Beth seems to be a candidate for a group with worse-than-average predicted mortality. The top five reasons: “Long commute. Poor financial indicators. Purchases tied to obesity indicators. Lack of exercise. High television consumption indicators.”

We’ve previously highlighted how commuting, financial stress, and television watching are tied to obesity.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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