John Hancock Final Expense Review (The Better Option)

John Hancock Final Expense Review
John Hancock Final Expense Review (The Better Option)

Disclaimer: Willamette Life is a direct competitor of John Hancock, this post is written to help you make a purchasing decision and to better understand your options.

John Hancock logo

There is no shortage of options out there when it comes to life insurance. It seems like every insurance company has a final expense life insurance plan to offer.

This is a wonderful thing! Choices are good, right?

I would agree that having options is a wonderful thing! Except when you don’t know what options you have.

Not all life insurance companies are forthcoming with the information that you need to know when making a decision. We will review John Hancock’s final expense policy to see if it is in fact the best option or if there might be better options for you.

John Hancock Final Expense Review

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John Hancock is a reputable company that has provided insurance products to 2.6 million people and gives back to the community in several ways.

They have raised $8.4 million towards cancer research in one of their annual fundraising initiatives with the Boston Red Sox. This is a wonderful company that is highly rated in the industry.

With all of this said, when it comes to the final expense life insurance it offers you will want to think twice and do your research. To be fair, you should do research and price checking when looking into any type of insurance coverage.

Some questions you should ask when looking into a final expense insurance policy:

  • Whole Life or Term Insurance?
  • What type is this – Guaranteed Issue or Simplified Issue?
  • Is this my only option?
  • Is this the best option available to me?
  • What other companies offer this same product?
  • Do the other companies offer competitive rates?
  • What are the product reviews?

As a side note – Just because you have other insurances through one carrier does not mean you should automatically get your final expense insurance policy through them as well. “Bundling” is not worth all the hype the big insurance companies market it to be.

You could be saving that amount or more by doing a little research and/or going with an independent agent. This is probably why you searching for product reviews!

Is John Hancock Life Insurance Good?

While John Hancock Life Insurance Company is financially stable with a good reputation, the prices are far higher than that of competing products from other life insurance companies. This plan is very similar to most of its competitors and does not have enough special features to support its higher prices.

John Hancock’s Vitality program is a bonus, but other companies have features that could better fit your needs.

This review will get into price comparisons and what the better offers are, but first, let us look at the policy details.

Plan Details

John Hancock Final Expense Insurance Plan Details

Established: 1863

Financial Rating: A+ (AM Best ratings)

Acceptance Age: 55 – 80

Coverage Amount: $2,000 – $20,000

Waiting Period: 2 years

  • 2 years before full death benefit will be paid to your beneficiary
  • If accidental death occurs in the first 2 years, 100% of the death benefit will be paid
  • If non-accidental death occurs in the first 2 years, paid premiums +10% will be returned to your beneficiary

Insurance Type: Guaranteed Issue Whole Life

Payment Types: Credit Card or Automatic Bank Draft

Payment Date: Your preferred day of the month, recurring each month on that same day

Additional Benefits: Vitality Program

The John Hancock Vitality Program is a wellness initiative that promotes healthy living with technology and discounts.

This plan is a Guaranteed Issue policy, meaning that there are no medical questions asked and everyone can get coverage.

This is not as good as it may seem!

Within Final Expense Insurance, there is Guaranteed Issue and Simplified Issue.

Simplified Issue goes through a simple underwriting process and has some “yes” or “no” medical questions in order to qualify. These plans cost much less and often have day one coverage with no waiting period.

If you are in good to moderate health Simplified Issue without a doubt is your best option. Even if you are in compromised health it is worth your while to speak with someone who represents multiple companies to see if you might qualify.

You might be surprised by what some companies will accept!

Man sitting on a bench reading the paper

The Better Option

If one policy has the same coverage as the next, why would you pay more for one than the other? I know I wouldn’t want to!

That’s exactly what you would be doing if you bought from John Hancock rather than shopping around or going through an independent insurance agency that represents multiple life insurance companies.

What is the Best Final Expense Insurance Company?

The best company for one person might be different than it is for the next. This is because each carrier has different qualifying standards for simplified issue plans. High financial ratings, low cost, and full coverage that starts asap are what to look for in a life insurance company.

Age, health, and policy amount all play a role in determining the monthly cost. This is why plans with guaranteed acceptance are usually the most expensive.

There are many guaranteed issue products available on the market today, our favorite is AIG.  The reason AIG is our go-to for a guaranteed issue plan is because of its low prices and additional benefits.

Here is a side-by-side look at how AIG and Hancock compare!

AIG -vs- John Hancock

Side-By-Side Comparison

AIGJohn Hancock
Financial Ratings:A+A+
Year Established:19091863
Acceptance Age:50 – 8055 – 80
Coverage Amount:$5,000 – $25,000$2,000 – $20,000
Payment Methods:Credit Card or Bank DraftCredit Card or Bank Draft
Waiting Period:2-years2-years
Guaranteed Acceptance:YesYes
Insurance Type:Whole LifeWhole Life

The difference that the table above shows us is that the age of acceptance and coverage amount are both larger with AIG. Not only is this true, but AIG costs 15% – 20% LESS than John Hancock. See the rate chart below taken directly from both websites.


Monthly Premiums

$10,000 of coverage

AgeAIGJohn Hancock


Monthly Premiums

$10,000 of coverage

AgeAIGJohn Hancock

four things to know

4 Things to Know About Guaranteed Acceptance

1: Most companies who sell direct to consumers only offer Guaranteed Issue plans.

This means that they are putting everyone they insure into a pool of potentially very unhealthy people. If you are in good or even average health, they are essentially penalizing you by making you pay more for the same plan.

If you don’t know the right questions to ask, how would you even know that there are other (better) options out there?

The way companies make money on Guaranteed Issue plans is by counting on the healthy people buying the policy.

If you are healthy it is assumed that you will live longer and be paying those monthly premiums longer, thus the insurance company will be getting more money from you to cover the earlier deaths of the unhealthy people who have the same policy as you.

It is kind of like they are punishing you for being healthy. That doesn’t make much sense to us.

Guaranteed Issue always comes with at least a 2-year waiting period, but not all Final Expense plans have a waiting period. Some simplified issue options have no waiting period.

2: You will NOT be saving money by going direct, in fact, you will probably be paying more!

What companies like John Hancock do not advertise is that there are policies with NO WAITING PERIOD, it just does not offer them. Of course, the company is not going to send you away since you also qualify for the plan they are selling. Everyone does!

Even if you do not qualify for a cheaper plan with immediate coverage from another carrier, there are still less expensive Guaranteed Issue options available as noted above.

The insurance companies pay agencies a commission for bringing qualified customers to them. You are not charged any extra by using an insurance broker, and as mentioned before, it’s usually LESS expensive.

3: The features and terms of most of the Guaranteed Issue policies are all the exact same.

There are a lot of companies that offer these guaranteed acceptance policies with not much differentiation.

What you need to look for are the waiting periods (they all have one) and the monthly expenses.

You WILL be able to find guaranteed coverage at a more affordable cost than what is offered by John Hancock.

Typical Waiting Period Details:

  • 2 years before full death benefit will be paid to your beneficiary
  • If accidental death occurs in the first 2 years, 100% will be paid
  • If non-accidental death occurs in the first 2 years, 100% of premiums paid will be returned to your beneficiary +10% interest

Some of the Guaranteed Issue policies out there actually have a 3-year waiting period rather than just 2, make sure to take this into account if you do shop around, which you should.


4: You can probably qualify for a better plan through a different company. 

As mentioned before, by answering a few simple health questions you could qualify for IMMEDIATE COVERAGE with no waiting period.

I use the phrase “better plan” loosely as a better plan for you could be different than a better plan for your neighbor, friend, or spouse. Either way, it will most likely be better than a guaranteed acceptance plan.

Generally speaking, you should ONLY apply for Guaranteed Issue if you have any of the health conditions listed below. Otherwise, you should speak with an independent agent to see what your other options are.

  • Receiving Dialysis
  • Require Continuous Oxygen
  • Currently have Invasive Cancer
  • Diagnosed with AIDS, HIV, or ARC
  • Diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease
  • On Hospice or Diagnosed with a Terminal Illness
  • Confined to a Hospital or Long Term Care Facility

You can learn more about how Final Expense works and cost comparisons of other companies in our blogs. You can also get a personalized quote on this page by filling out your info into the instant quote machine.

Independent Vs. Captive Agencies

Independent agencies represent multiple insurance companies and are essentially able to shop around for you.

Captive agencies, like John Hancock or Colonial Penn, represent only their product line allowing no flexibility in coverage. These captive agencies usually have stricter guidelines in order to qualify for simplified issue plans, or they only offer guaranteed acceptance at typically higher costs.

This is like a car dealership only offering Ford cars and trucks in cherry red versus another dealership offering all types of vehicles in all colors.

Captive vs independent agent

Why Independent?

You will be able to find a better price by allowing an independent agent or agency to price check on your behalf.

Independent agencies represent multiple companies allowing them to find the best policy for you given your specific situation and health circumstance.

There is no downside here.

Several other companies with high ratings offer Guaranteed Issue Final Expense that beat the John Hancock prices.

  1. AIG
  2. Mutual of Omaha
  3. Gerber Life
  4. New York Life (AARP)
  5. AAA

Why Willamette Life Insurance?

We are an independent agency based in Portland, Oregon. We are on a mission to help seniors understand the different insurance options available to them. We specialize in Final Expense Insurance and want to help people find the best possible coverage at the best possible price.

We care and understand that you want to take care of your family once you pass away. Affordability plays a huge role in making these types of decisions, we will make sure to find a plan that fits your budget.

No sales gimmicks here, just helping seniors find affordable ways to care for their families well into the future.

We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you and to answer any questions that you have! 844-576-0019

Person holding phone looking at computer

Final Thoughts

a. In this John Hancock final expense review we point out that you could probably qualify for a better plan with a chance to get immediate coverage. This would all still be with no medical exam needed.

b. Based on your health, if you can only qualify for a plan with guaranteed acceptance, you need to know that there are other companies that are LESS EXPENSIVE and offer the same coverage. In fact, this company doesn’t make a top 10 list in my opinion.

c. Last but not least, these companies market their product to the masses and might make you feel like they are the only option and that you will not qualify for anything else. Do not blindly hand your money over to an insurance company, read reviews and do research.

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