One large and well-respected insurer that has been in the industry for more than 150 years is John Hancock Life Insurance Company.
The company lands itself in the honorable mention section of our list for the best life insurance companies in the USA.
The History of John Hancock Life Insurance Company
John Hancock Life Insurance Company was initially founded in 1862. The name, John Hancock that was chosen by the company’s four-person founders was done so in order to show that the company stood for both commitment and integrity.
Throughout the years, this insurer has grown into one of the largest and strongest financial services firms in the country – and it currently stands as a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canadian-based financial firm that has operations in the U.S., Canada, and in Asia.
John Hancock Life Insurance Company Review
John Hancock Life Insurance Company is a very well known and recognized brand throughout the U.S., and in other areas of the world. In fact, according to a GKF Brand Tracking Study, the company holds top-tier brand awareness ranking with an estimated 87 percent of U.S. consumers.
The company has customers in 22 countries and territories throughout the world. In addition to offering financial and insurance products and services, John Hancock also focuses on making a difference in the communities in which it serves, as well as for the environment.
Throughout the years, the company has won numerous awards and accolades, including being named one of America’s Greatest Brands by members of the American Brands Council, and one of the most recognized names in the U.S., with a 95% awareness among consumers, according to the Roper Starch Worldwide and Plan-it Marketing. John Hancock has also been placed on the list of the 100 Most Powerful Corporate, Media and Product Brands of the 20th Century by the New York Times in 1999.
For those who have a financial or insurance product with John Hancock, the customer service reps are easy to contact. The company offers a form center directly on its website, so quick access to forms is easily available. Also, assistance from a customer service rep can be attained via a toll-free phone line, as well as via email. Reps are segmented out by product type for faster access.
Financial Strength of John Hancock
John Hancock is extremely strong and stable financially, and as of year-end 2015, the company had net income of approximately $255 million. The total insurance premiums and deposits as of that same time period were $15.4 million. Also, the company held assets under management of just over $388 billion.
Due to its healthy financial position, as well as its positive reputation for paying out its policyholder claims, John Hancock is very highly rated.
These ratings include the following:
- A+ from A.M. Best – Superior (the second highest out of a total of 13 ratings)
- AA- from Fitch Ratings – Very Strong (the fourth highest out of a total of 19 ratings)
- A1 from Moody’s – Low credit risk (the fifth highest out of a total of 21 ratings)
- AA- from Standard and Poor’s – Very strong (the 4th highest out of 21 total ratings)
Products Offered Through John Hancock Life Insurance Company
As one of the leading life insurance providers in the nation, John Hancock offers numerous life insurance coverages to choose from. These include the following:
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance, considered the cheapest form of life insurance and a basic type of coverage that offers only pure death benefit protection. There is no cash value account associated with term life insurance. For this reason, term insurance is oftentimes more affordable than permanent insurance protection.
This coverage remains in force for a specific amount of time. John Hancock offers several variations of term life insurance. Some of these provide the ability to convert the policy over to a permanent insurance product, within certain guidelines.
Permanent Life Insurance
There is death benefit protection, along with a cash value component in this type of policy. The cash component allows the policyholder to build up a nice tax-deferred savings within the policy. This means that there will be no tax due on the growth of these funds unless or until the funds are withdrawn.
There are several types of permanent coverage to choose from. John Hancock Life Insurance Company offers the following types:
- Universal Life Insurance – With universal life insurance, the policyholder has death benefit coverage and cash value. The policyholder may choose – within certain guidelines – how much the premium will go into the death benefit and how much will go into the cash value account. This means that the universal life policy can essentially change with policy holders changing needs over time. In addition, the amount and the frequency of the policy holder’s premium may also be able to be adjusted over time.
- Indexed Universal Life Insurance – Indexed universal life insurance is another type of permanent life insurance coverage that provides both a death benefit and a cash value component. Here, the cash value account is linked to the performance of an underlying market index. This means that the growth of the funds in this account have the opportunity to grow with the upswings of this market index. However, if there is a market downturn, the funds in the account will not lose value. This is because the policy does not participate directly in the market. Here, too, the funds are allowed to grow on a tax-deferred basis. This can allow the funds to grow and compound faster than those in a taxable account over time. Also, policyholders have the flexibility to change between different premium allocation options as their needs change over the lifetime of owning this type of policy.
- Variable Universal Life Insurance – Another type of permanent coverage, variable universal life insurance, provides a death benefit, along with flexible premium payments, and the ability to build cash value over time. This type of policy allows the policyholder to accumulate cash value by choosing from a number of different investment options across different risk categories. Because of this, the cash has the opportunity to grow a great deal. There is, however, more risk in this type of policy, too. Therefore, with a variable type of policy, it is important to consider that the policy’s account value will vary based on the performance of the investment options that are selected, as they are not guaranteed. Funds can, however, be transferred among the different options within the cash account, typically without penalty or charge.
Each of the above types of life insurance policy will also offer a corresponding survivorship plan that covers an insured and one other person, such as a spouse, partner, or business partner. This can make the policy more cost-effective than purchasing two separate life insurance policies.
Other Products Offered Via John Hancock
John Hancock offers numerous other products in addition to life insurance. These include:
For those who are approaching retirement, an annuity can provide a way to produce an ongoing stream of guaranteed lifetime income that will last throughout an individual’s life – regardless of how long they live.
John Hancock Life Insurance Company offers a wide range of different types of annuities to choose from, such as both fixed and variable annuities. This can allow customers to obtain the annuity quotes that best fits their specific needs.
A variable annuity is a contract between you and Hancock that will give you the ability to earn more than a traditional annuity, without taking on any additional risk. These annuities are professionally managed and ensure that you’ll have a stream of income, regardless of how long you enjoy retirement.
There are two different types of variable annuities that you can buy through Hancock (depending on which state that you live in), qualified and nonqualified. The difference between the types is the tax advantages. With a nonqualified, you avoid taxes until you start getting distributions.
The other main type of annuity that Hancock offers is the fixed annuities. These are the more traditional option for annuities, because they have a guaranteed interest rate and are one of the best ways to earn a stable paycheck in retirement. You can design your own paycheck schedule.
Just like the other types of annuities, these will grow tax-deferred, which means that you won’t see taxes until you start paying out the annuity.
Long-Term Care Insurance
As people are living so much longer today than ever before, the need for long-term care services has risen substantially. This case, however, is expensive. In some areas of the country, it is over $100,000 per year. Long-term care insurance can help in covering this cost.
John Hancock offers several different options of long-term care insurance. The company also offers individual coverage, as well as coverage for groups and associations – which can provide a discount on the policy’s premium.
John Hancock offers investments such as asset management and financial planning for various short- and long-term goals.
College savings plans can help individuals and families to save for the high cost of a college education. John Hancock offers 529 college savings plans, as well as other options for this type of savings.
John Hancock also offers 401(k) plans via its retirement planning services area. In partnership with plan consultants and financial advisers, the company helps with designing and building plans that are specifically suited for a company’s needs.
Key Person Insurance
Key person insurance is a form of business insurance that people can overlook, but one that can make all the difference in keeping a business running and successful in the face of losing an owner, or important team member.
Key person insurance costs can vary depending on the plan you choose, so make sure to research the best company and plan for your situation.