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Decent rates for seniors. Monthly rates are slightly below the industry average for people in their 50s and 60s, making John Hancock a decent choice for those looking for affordable term life insurance.
Specific coverage for people with diabetes. People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes can get extra help and care in addition to their life insurance coverage.
Discounts based on healthy lifestyles. Policyholders can save on their premiums, gain retailer discounts, and get a free Fitbit fitness tracker (or money towards an Apple Watch) by logging their exercise, doctor visits, and other healthy habits into a digital app.
Expensive for younger people. While those in their 50s and 60s will pay less, people in the 20s, 30s, and 40s age ranges will pay a lot more for life insurance with John Hancock. If you’re not reading AARP yet, consider another carrier.
No temporary coverage. John Hancock doesn’t offer temporary life insurance coverage between the time when you start the application process and when the actual policy goes into effect.
Customer service could be better. Your mileage will vary, of course, but customer representatives were either unhelpful or unknowledgeable in our experience. At least you get to pick what kind of waiting music you want to listen to (jazz, pop, or blessed silence).
Lackluster website and digital tools. Doing life insurance research on John Hancock’s website is an exercise in tedium. The quote tool available isn’t really a quote tool, there’s no live chat option, and it’s difficult to find contact information. Use the Policygenius quote tool instead.
John Hancock sells two main types of life insurance products, term and permanent. Their permanent offerings include universal life, indexed universal life, and variable universal life.
They also provide specific coverage for people with diabetes.
Additionally, those with term life packages can take advantage of a Vitality program, which rewards healthy habits and lifestyles.
Term life insurance
This is John Hancock’s standard term life policy, with coverage for 10-, 15-, or 20-year, or 30-year terms. You have to be at least 18 years of age to apply.
Some applicants can qualify for an instant decision, but most people will undergo a medical exam.
John Hancock Term Life
18 to 80
10-, 15-, 20-, or 30-year terms
The cost of the term life policy is fixed for the entire term of the policy, so premiums won’t increase during the term of the policy. This helps make term life policies a better value than permanent insurance, since term life policies are significantly less expensive for the same amount of death benefit coverage than permanent life policies.
These optional additions can turn a basic life insurance policy into something that covers more circumstances.
Accelerated death benefit. If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness with less than 12 months to live, you can access up to half of the policy’s death benefit (up to a maximum of $1 million).
Disability benefit. If you become totally disabled for at least six consecutive months before you turn 65, this provides a waiver of required premiums.
Long-term care rider. If you have trouble managing day-to-day activities, this will help cover long-term care expenses.
Vitality GO or PLUS Program riders. You can add John Hancock’s unique Vitality programs to your policy for an additional fee per month. You can earn credits towards your monthly premiums for doing health-related activities such as eating well, exercising, or visiting your doctor.
These riders may not be available in every state and the exact details may change based on your chosen policy.
→ Read more about insurance riders and coverage options.
There is no temporary coverage available from John Hancock, meaning there is no coverage between the time you submit your application and when your policy goes in-force.
Policyholders can convert from term to permanent policies at any point during their term period, or before the client turns 70. There’s no extra fee or medical exam required, but customers will have to fill out a form.
Permanent life insurance
John Hancock’s permanent life insurance options include universal life, indexed universal life, and variable universal life plans. Unlike term life plans, these build cash value over time as you pay your premiums, besides gaining lifetime death benefit protection.
To apply for these you have to call John Hancock directly and undergo a medical exam
However, universal life insurance protection is much more expensive than term life insurance and you should only apply if you meet certain circumstances.
There is also a specific policy for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes called the Aspire plan.
If you’re in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, monthly premiums for John Hancock’s term life insurance are higher than the industry average.
Here’s a breakdown of term life sample quotes, based on a non-smoking male in “good” health applying for $500,000, 20-year term package:
JOHN HANCOCK AVERAGE
As you can see, John Hancock’s prices are lower or about the industry average for people in their 50s and 60s. If you fall in that age range, you may want to consider John Hancock for a term life insurance policy.
For comparison’s sake, AIG offers an average rate of $23.91 for a healthy male in his 20s for a $500,000, 20-year policy.
Vitality Rewards Program
To help lower prices, you can take advantage of John Hancock’s Vitality Rewards program. Depending on which plan you sign up for, Vitality Go or Vitality Plus, you can gain discounts towards Amazon and other retailers, receive a free Fitbit fitness tracker, or possibly get an Apple Watch if you exercise, eat healthy food, go to the doctor often, or do other healthy activities.
The Apple Watch offer is not available for New York or Puerto Rico.
Founded in Massachusetts in 1862, John Hancock Life Insurance has been around for over 150 years. According to insurance industry experts it will be around for even longer. Which is great! That means they’ll be here when it’s time to pay out a claim.
A.M. Best: A+
Standard & Poor’s: AA-
A.M. Best, a credit rating agency that focuses on the insurance industry, gives John Hancock an A+ (effective December 3, 2021), which means the insurer has a “superior” ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations to customers.
Bond credit rating agency Moody’s says John Hancock is an A1-rated company, meaning it’s able to fulfill the benefits of its customers. Similarly, Standard & Poor’s, or S&P, gives John Hancock an AA-, which makes John Hancock a very low credit risk.
Customer reactions to John Hancock’s customer service range from “about average” to “way below average” depending on where you look.
Here’s the ratings breakdown:
Consumer Affairs: 3.8 / 5
Consumers Advocate: 4 / 5
NAIC complaint index: 0.40
Consumer Affairs reports a score of 3.8 out of 5. This site lets users directly rate companies. This is a big leap from last score’s score of 1.8 out of 5. Back then, common complaints mentioned waiting a long time while claiming death benefits and difficulty with customer service.
Consumers Advocate, which focuses on a company’s reputation, policies, and stability, gives John Hancock a “very good” four out of five, based on a review of the company from 2019.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks complaints submitted to state insurance departments. On their complaint index, they give John Hancock a 0.40. A score of 1 represents the baseline average, while a zero means there weren’t enough customer complaints to count. So, John Hancock barely has any complaints registered with state departments.
John Hancock’s customer experience is a mixed bag. On one hand, their website provides a somewhat decent overview of their life insurance products, with a bunch of annotations and definitions of life insurance terms all over the place.
However, customer representatives on their 1-800 phone line had trouble answering some basic questions about rider options and policy delivery, and they frequently transferred us to other departments which resulted in some long wait times.
There is no live chat available online, and their quote tool isn’t a quote tool, but a submission form for an agent to contact you. That’s a bummer.
You have to contact an agent over the phone, answer questions based on your medical and prescription histories, and if you qualify, you can skip the medical exam. If not, you’ll have to schedule and go through with a visit to the doctor.
Expect to wait up to two to four weeks, which is the usual waiting time for life insurance companies.
Policies are sent through the mail or electronically.