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John Hancock Review

Offering a nice range of policy features and coverage options for its term and universal life insurance products, John Hancock life insurance is a great choice for customers who know what they want in a life insurance policy. That said, the lack of whole life policies and the company's relatively high coverage minimums may drive some potential customers away. Get Quotes

Fletcher Wilson

Fletcher Wilson

Life Insurance Expert

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Updated: March 19, 2014

The Good

Secure financial outlook:

A strong financial footing and a favorable credit outlook are important factors to consider in your search for a life insurance company. John Hancock delivers on both counts, earning strong reviews from all of the nation's top financial ratings companies. A.M. Best awarded John Hancock the coveted rating of Superior for both its financial strength and its credit outlook. S&P and Moody's also gave John Hancock very favorable ratings when evaluating the company's ability to meet current and future financial obligations. Such high marks are a good indication that John Hancock is a company you can trust over the long term and should ease the mind of even the most cautious insurance buyer.

Reasonable coverage and policy features:

John Hancock's term and universal policies are quite thorough. Term conversion, return of premium, and survivorship and joint coverage options are available, as is a cash surrender option. The company's policy features include many of the industry's standard offerings, including level and variable death benefits, guaranteed level premium and graded premium options, and an interest rate guarantee option. Additional policy features include a term renewal guarantee, an expiration or lapse guarantee, and an exam-free term conversion guarantee.

The Bad

No whole life insurance coverage:

John Hancock is one of the few major insurers without whole life policies, which is quite a significant omission. Whole life policies are ideal for addressing long-term goals, since they offer predictable annual premiums and a guaranteed cash value. Universal policies, on the other hand, are designed for flexibility, offering policyholders the option to reduce their premiums, though at the cost of giving up guarantees on cash values and death benefits. By not providing a whole life option, John Hancock life insurance ignores a large group of potential policyholders who value predictability over flexibility.

Poor online tools and materials:

While some companies offer exhaustive beginner's guides and highly functional tools and calculators, John Hancock provides little more than a glossary and a poorly organized FAQ page. If you're already very knowledgeable about life insurance, the lack of helpful resources may not affect you much. On the other hand, if you're not an insurance expert or if you simply value easy access to helpful information, John Hancock is likely to disappoint you.

Restrictive policy level limitations:

John Hancock life insurance imposes minimum coverage levels of $100,000 or more across their term and universal products. Such high minimum policy levels make it difficult for younger individuals who want a small permanent policy started in order to lock in insurability. With minimum coverage levels in the $100,000 range, the cost of a policy becomes very hard to justify for these types of buyers who can find many other insurers offering affordable policies in denominations as low as $5,000 or $10,000. If you're looking for a policy with low minimum coverage requirements, you'll have to consider other companies.

The Details

A.M. Best FSR Rating A+
A.M. Best ICR Rating aa-
Moody's Rating Aa3
Policy Offerings Term, Universal
Standard & Poor's Rating AA+


Financial Strength

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  • A.M. Best "Excellent" or Better - The insurance company has an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or better.
  • ICR Rating "Stable" - The insurance company has an A.M. Best Credit Rating of "Stable" or better.
  • Moody's "Very Strong" - The insurance company has a Moody's rating of "Aa3" or better.
  • S&P Rated "Very Strong" - The insurance company has an S&P rating of "AA-" or better.

Policy Features

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Policy Riders

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Coverage Options

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Customer Support

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Contract Provisions

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Online Tools and Materials

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Payment Options

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