John Hancock Term Life Insurance Review

Chartered in 1862, John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company began offering insurance and services in Boston, MA. The four founders chose the name John Hancock, Revolutionary War leader and signer of the Declaration of Independence, feeling that name represented integrity and commitment. Known initially as an ‘industrial’ or ‘weekly premium’ insurer, the company offered life and disability insurance to working class families across New England. John Hancock was one of the first insurance companies to recruit women as agents as well as prospects for insurance.John Hancock is now part of Manulife Financial Corporation, now the fifth largest global life insurer by capitalization with $32.3 Billion at the end of 2009. The John Hancock brand has a heavy presence and strong reputation within the United States.

Financial Ratings

John Hancock Life Insurance carries very strong ratings for both financial strength and claim paying ability. Standard and Poor’s gives them an AA+, which means they display ‘very strong financial security characteristics.’  Moody’s places them slightly lower, giving an Aa3 rating or 4th highest out of 21 companies. AM Best gives John Hancock Life Insurance an A+ rating for its ability to meet ongoing obligations and pay claims.  AA rating from Fitch shows that they concur with the strong capacity to meet commitments with policy holders and contracts.

Term Insurance Offerings

John Hancock currently offers term life insurance with guaranteed level premiums for ten, fifteen, and twenty year periods. The level death benefit is a traditional form of term insurance, called the John Hancock Term Series. The option to convert to permanent insurance is available with some policies. The ‘guaranteed’ conversion option can help preserve insurability when the time is right for switching to whole or universal life insurance.Another term variant is ‘Survivorship Term’ which is a second-to-die term life policy. The policy pays if both parties pass away within the specified term. Hancock also offers term policies for older and less healthy individuals, providing some level of protection for tougher underwriting cases.

Additionally, John Hancock offers riders for a number of other protections. In the event of a terminal illness diagnosis, there are affordable options to protect against financial hardships. John Hancock also offers an ART or annual renewable term policy. The YRT1 One Year Term policy is non-convertible and is available with a joint life option. This type of policy may offer more affordability to younger families by reducing coverage as years pass while maintaining a level premium.

Whole Life Insurance Options

John Hancock does offer permanent whole life insurance with a guaranteed death benefit and level premiums. Cash value grows by conservative investment vehicles and loans are available. There is even a rider for automatically taking loans to pay premiums in the event they go unpaid. Protection Whole Life offers a guaranteed death benefit, premiums, and cash values. Premium schedules range from single premium, 10-15-20 year paid up options, or lifetime payments. There are a number of riders available to customize a policy for specific protection or family needs. A long term care rider can help the policy owner pay for long term care expenses. There is also a disability waiver rider, offering relief of premium payments during a period of disability.

John Hancock Universal Life Insurance

Hancock offers universal life policies for individuals and survivorship policies for two person coverage. The three policy options for each segment are designed with the owner’s primary goal for the policy: Protection UL-G for family protection focus, Accumulation UL for living needs and wealth accumulation, and the Performance UL as a balanced policy for legacy preservation and utility. The Protection UL-G policy will be most competitively priced for level pay situations and high early funding scenarios for older clients. Riders are available for cash value guarantees, long term care, return of premium, and policy lapse protection.

The Accumulation UL is designed to offer potentially high cash surrender values for retirement income or other funding needs during life. This type of policy will have high target premiums and carry higher cash values throughout the policy’s life. There is one additional rider available with this policy, the ‘overloan protection’ rider. In case the policy cash value is diminished by loans, the rider helps prevent the policy from lapsing and triggering unintended taxable events.

Variable Universal Life: Single Life and Survivorship Life

The VUL policy types mirror those of the UL’s offered. The only difference being that variable investments are available with Hancock’s VUL policies. Policies are designed with three purposes: accumulation, protection, and a balance of the two. John Hancock offers a roster of leading asset managers. They also offer ‘Lifestyle Portfolios’ that automatically diversify and allocate funds in a single investment. Additionally, Hancock offers enhancements to the fixed account which can increase the crediting rate of that allocation. There are riders available for purchase that can offer added protections. Hancock offers an innovative long term care rider as well as ‘no lapse guarantee’ riders. Protection against a policy lapse or MEC situation can be important to heavily funded policies or heavily loaned policies.

Overview and Unique Offerings

Overall, John Hancock offers quality policy choices for every type of insurance. The UL and VUL policies can be tailored with riders to suit any family looking for protection, wealth preservation, or legacy creation. One unique offering is the ‘LifeCare’ rider for certain policies. It is similar to an accelerated death benefit, providing access to funds in the event the policy owner has living needs for the cash. Advances can be repaid or deducted from the death benefit payment to beneficiaries.