John Hancock Life Insurance review 2018 |

Everything you need to know about John Hancock Life Insurance

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John Hancock
John Hancock
  • Healthy living discounts and rewards
  • Easy application process
  • Covers people with health ailments
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Lenient health guidelines, high approval rates and an incentivized healthy living program make this a popular provider.

Shopping for life insurance can be intimidating or even frustrating, but not with this company. John Hancock’s transparency makes shopping for life insurance easy from application to claim submission. Its website is packed with easy-to-digest information to help consumers choose a plan that works for them. This provider offers lenient health guidelines, high approval rates and better pricing for those actively pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

What is John Hancock life insurance known for?

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.

Pros and cons

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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What 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 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 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.
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.
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.


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.


What do customers say say about this brand?

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 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.

How can I get the best life insurance rates at John Hancock?

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.

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.

What other services does John Hancock offer?

John Hancock offers a variety of other products to complement its life insurance lineup. Here are some of its other products:

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

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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