John Hancock Life Insurance review September 2019 |

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John Hancock Life Insurance review

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Lenient health guidelines, high approval rates and an incentivized healthy living program make this a popular provider.

Get a quote if…

  • You want to be rewarded with lower rates for healthy living.

Pick something else if..

  • You want a whole life insurance policy.

20 to 60

Issue Age

$25,000 to $1,000,000

Coverage Amount

Depends on policy

Medical Exam Required


Free QuoteOnline, Phone
Insurance ProductsTerm, Permanent
Issue Age20 to 60
Coverage Amount$25,000 to $1,000,000
Term Lengths10, 15, or 20 years
CostAs low as $16 per month
Medical Exam RequiredDepends on policy

What types of life insurance coverage does John Hancock offer?

John Hancock offers term, universal, variable universal and indexed universal life insurance policies. The website is straightforward, clearly outlining the features, coverage and benefits of each policy. While this company does not offer a whole life insurance option, its universal life insurance plan is an affordable option for those looking for permanent coverage. Customers can receive discounts on premiums, rewards and incentives for living a healthy lifestyle through the John Hancock Vitality Program.

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is John Hancock’s most affordable and straightforward life insurance policy, available in 10-, 15- and 20-year terms. With a fixed death-benefit payout, rates can be as low as $15 per month, and the site offers a free quote tool to estimate your monthly costs. If you needs change, you can always convert to permanent life insurance.

Universal life insurance

Universal life insurance is John Hancock’s permanent life insurance policy, providing lifetime protection, increased coverage and more flexibility. While this policy is more expensive than term life insurance it offers flexible premiums and payment schedules. This allows you to adjust your payments to meet your needs. And your cash value grows over time and offers an option to borrow from the value of your policy.

Variable universal life insurance

This is the most flexible option, with more potential for your cash value to grow and more ways to invest. This plan offers permanent coverage like the standard universal life policy with added flexibility in premiums, fund allocation and risk management. This plan is ideal for those who want to invest in their cash value. But keep in mind that the potential for growth comes with the risk of losing cash value.

Indexed universal life insurance

John Hancock’s indexed universal life insurance offers the flexibility and coverage of traditional and variable universal life, but protects against market fluctuations. Your cash value is tied to the value of an indexed account — like the S&P 500 — meaning your policy doesn’t directly participate in any stock or equity investments. This plan generally offers to potential for more cash value accumulation than other universal life products.

What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?

Most companies offer a variety of add-ons or riders to their policies, but John Hancock only offers four:

  • Long-term care (LTC) rider. Allows you to take money out of your death benefit to pay for long-term care, which includes nursing homes and private nurses. Its features include:
  • Activation when you can’t perform two or more activities of daily living including bathing, continence, dressing,
    eating and using the toilet.
  • Choose 1%, 2% or 4% of the face amount with the monthly acceleration benefit.
  • Pays for long-term care expenses with a monthly stipend to cover long term care for eligible services.
  • Provides death benefit payout for any amount not used by LTC.
  • Receive LTC benefits wherever you are and includes home health care.
  • Total Disability Waiver Rider: This rider allows the insured to waive premiums if they become totally disabled for at least six consecutive months.
  • Accelerated Benefit Rider: This rider covers you if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness with less than 12 months to live. You can access up to 50% of the policy’s death benefit up to $1 million.
  • Conversion Extension Rider: This rider extends the normal conversion period to the full level term period, and it’s only available on 15- and 20-year term policies.


How much does John Hancock cost?

John Hancock doesn’t provide its cost structure online, but states that the amount you pay is based on your age, health, the kind of policy you choose and the amount you apply for. To get an idea of how much you might pay for life insurance, check out the rates for a 20-year term policy for an individual in perfect health.

How do I get a low rate?

Every insurance provider determines its rates differently, but you’re likely to get better rates if you know what influences the cost of a policy. Here’s how to get the best rates with John Hancock.

  • No History of tobacco or substance use. The best rates go to applicants who don’t smoke and have no history of substance abuse. You will likely undergo urine and blood tests before approval, and testing positive for nicotine will drastically increase your rates.
  • Living a healthy lifestyle. Through the John Hancock Vitality Program, you can earn discounts on your premiums, entertainment and travel rewards, and even the option to earn an apple watch for $25 or a complimentary Fitbit to track your healthy activities.
  • Your driving record. If possible, your history should be clear of any DWIs, DUIs, suspensions and other convictions for as long as possible. Most providers have a cutoff for how many infractions you can have to qualify for the best rate.
  • Cholesterol. Insurance providers analyze your ratio of good to bad cholesterol; having an HDL of 3.5 or lower will increase your chances of getting a better rate.
  • Your blood pressure. The best rates are given to applicants with healthy blood pressure levels. Preferred plus requires 135/85 between the ages of 18 and 50, or 140/90 for ages 51 to 70. Preferred requires your BP to be 140/85 between the ages of 18 and 50 and 145/90 for ages 51 to 70.

What’s the Vitality program?

John Hancock tracks policyholders’ health and fitness data through wearable devices, like FitBits. This is known as ‘interactive life insurance,’ and it’s meant to incentivise people to adopt healthy habits.

When you purchase a policy, you’ll automatically be enrolled into the insurer’s basic Vitality Go program. As you hit health goals – like walking a certain number of steps per day or reducing your blood pressure – the insurer will reward you with discounts on sites like Amazon.

You can also sign up to Vitality Plus for a small fee (around $2 a month). You’ll score the same perks, plus grocery store gift cards and further discounts. Depending on your progress, you could also save up to 15% on your annual premium, and be able to buy an Apple Watch for $25 (plus tax).

Exclusions apply, so double-check your eligibility with the insurer.

Pros and cons of John Hancock

Overall, John Hancock is an extremely reputable insurance provider that offers competitive pricing on multiple policy options. Here’s the good and the bad:


  • Healthy living discounts and rewards. John Hancock is one of the few providers that offer incentives for healthy living. The program provides discounts, rewards, and other benefits to encourage customers to live a healthier lifestyle.
  • Easy application process. Apply online through a simple form. Many policies don’t even require a medical examination.
  • Covers people with health ailments. John Hancock offers coverage to those with diabetes, hypertension and HIV.


  • No whole insurance. Most large providers offer some sort of whole life insurance if you’re looking for level premiums and a guaranteed payout. Unfortunately, John Hancock only offers term and universal options.
  • Lack of rider options. Many other insurance providers offer a long list of riders with each plan, but John Hancock only offers four.
  • Slow processing. While applications and claim filing are straightforward, they often take longer compared to industry standards. Customers report the process taking up to 35 days before policy approval, which is then delivered by mail.

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John Hancock reviews and complaints

John Hancock has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1996, complimented by an impressive A+ rating. There are 15 official and 46 unofficial consumer complaints on the BBB website, most of which address issues with communication and customer service. Others mention undisclosed or unexpected changes in premiums or investment allocations. Despite many negative reviews of the company, plenty of customers stand by its commitment to customer service and willingness to answer questions.

How does John Hancock protect my data?

John Hancock collects your personal information in order to personalize your experience, verify your identity, maintain your products and services, provide customer service and to market to you if you have not opted out of its marketing practices. Your data is not shared with unaffiliated third parties.

A combination of security measures are used to protect your data, as well as the use of physical, technical and administrative safeguards. John Hancock utilizes Transport Layer Security and authentication technologies to keep your data safe when transmitted over the internet. A timeout feature is also employed when a page sits idle for a certain amount of time.

How do I sign up?

You can only get a quote for term life insurance online. And only residents of certain states can apply for a policy if they are happy with the quote. To access all of John Hancock’s life insurance products, call 1-800-721-3774 to speak with a licensed coverage coach.

    1. To get a quote for term life insurance, provide your name, gender, birthdate, state of residence, tobacco use, level of health and how much coverage you desire, as well as your contact info.
    2. Click See Your quote and you’ll be presented with a selection of quotes.
    3. If you live in a state where you are able to apply online, you can select your quote and continue with the application process. If not, call 800-721-3774 to apply. Either way, be sure to have the following information available:
  • Driver’s license
  • Social Security numbers for you and your beneficiary(ies)
  • Bank information
  • List of medications you take on a regular basis, and the doctors that prescribe them

I’ve signed up. What happens next?

If you are applying for a coverage amount of $250,000 and under, you can expect an instant decision. For amounts greater than $250,000 it typically takes three to five days to learn if you qualify.

More about John Hancock

Established in 1862, John Hancock “strives to be a source of hope and trust, offering a solid foundation for the financial future of their clients.” Acquired by the Canadian-headquartered Manulife Financial Corp. in 2003, the company now operates as a US-based subsidiary under the name John Hancock Financial. Known for its dedication to innovation, this provider continues to build its legacy through its modern approach to trust and integrity.

In addition to life insurance, John Hancock offers a variety of other products, including:

  • Long-term care insurance
  • Annuities
  • Retirement plans
  • Investments (financial planning and asset management)
  • College savings plans
  • Key person insurance

John Hancock financial stability and credit ratings

Credit rating agencies use a multi-level rating system to gauge a firm’s ability to fulfill its debt obligations. John Hancock received an “A” rating or above from the top four credit rating agencies, meaning it has a strong capacity to meet its debt obligations. A.M. Best rated John Hancock an “A+,” which holds a lot of weight since it is arguably the most important rating agency for the insurance industry.

How do I file a life insurance claim with John Hancock?

How to file a LTC claim:

  • Contact the LTC Customer Service Center at 800-233-1449. You’ll be able to request a Claim Initiation Kit which includes the necessary forms.
  • Once complete, return the enclosed forms to the provided address.
  • John Hancock will request either a consultation or medical records.
  • Once all documentation is provided, the company handles the rest of the claim.
  • Track and manage the progress of your claim through their online portal.

How to file a death claim:

  • Visit the website, then find the Claims tab in the top menu and click Death Claim.
  • Report the death to John Hancock by using their online notification form on that same page or by calling them at 800-387-2747 anywhere in the US or 888-267-7784 if you’re in New York.
  • On that page, use the Claim Form Selector to determine the correct forms to submit.
  • Submit all documents to the Claims Department through the address on the claim form.

Bottom line

John Hancock is a great choice for people pursuing a healthy lifestyle. The rewards program offers incentives for customers to live a better life, allowing the potential for rates far below what other providers offer. This provider has lenient health guidelines and high approval rates, meaning there’s a good chance you can still get a policy here if you have existing health conditions.

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