Manulife Financial announced it has reached an agreement in Canada with The Vitality Group (Vitality) to introduce life insurance that rewards people for healthy living.

Vitality is the global leader in integrating wellness benefits with life insurance. In 2015, John Hancock, the brand under which Manulife operates in the United States, announced an exclusive alliance with Vitality for the United States.

Customers who choose this innovative, new kind of insurance will have industry-leading financial protection, opportunities to save on their insurance premiums, and earn valuable rewards and discounts for taking steps to improve their health.

Members will receive personalized health goals and can easily log their activities using online and automated tools, which are integrated with the latest wearable fitness technology.

"With Vitality, Manulife is changing the whole notion of life insurance in Canada," said Marianne Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Canada. "Manulife will play an active role in helping Canadians live a long, healthy, happy and fulfilled life. We will be there every step of the way, engaging with them, encouraging them to stay fit and active, and keeping up-to-date on their needs and aspirations, and those of their families."

After identifying a need for insurance and completing the application process, new members will take an online Vitality Health Review to determine their Vitality Age, an indicator of overall health that may be higher or lower than their actual age, which can improve over time as they work toward living a healthier life.

"Through the success of John Hancock Vitality in the US and long-standing efforts in other parts of the world, we’ve found that when people purchase an integrated life insurance product and participate in the program, they are motivated to set goals and take steps to healthy living," said Alan Pollard, CEO, The Vitality Group.

"Vitality and Manulife share a commitment to improving the lives of our customers and with more than 128 years of experience and a history of innovation, Manulife is the perfect partner to help us bring this solution to Canada."

After their policy is issued, members will immediately begin accumulating points when they complete health-related activities like exercising, getting an annual health screening or even a flu shot. The number of Vitality Points a policyholder earns over the course of a year determines their program status level.

The more engaged they are with the program and involved in living a healthier lifestyle, the more points they can accumulate to earn other rewards and discounts from leading retailers.

"Manulife is moving away from being a traditional insurance company to one that actively partners with customers to help them achieve overall well-being, including physical and financial health," added Ms. Harrison.

"Manulife is the first financial services company in Canada to focus on their customers in this way, and it opens the door for our advisors to have many more conversations with customers."

During the first half of 2016, Vitality and Manulife will be developing the full scope of the Canadian program, which includes collaborating with other retailers for the rewards component.