In February of 2017 we reported John Hancock had placed limitations on inforce ledgers for certain Performance UL policies. A year later, in February of this year, we wrote that The Life Settlements Report, a trade publication, reported that John Hancock had voluntarily notified the state of New York that it would be raising the cost of insurance (COI) on 1,700 Performance UL policies.
Today, our New York City office received the first official COI increase announcement from the carrier. The letter, dated May 7th, noted that the carriers’ “expectation of future experience has changed” and for that policy, the cost increase would occur on the next policy anniversary date.
The carrier provided several “options to manage the increase,” including; increasing the premium to keep the current death benefit in force, reducing the death benefit to “keep the current premiums the same,” or maintaining both “current death benefit and premium payment,” though if that option were chosen, “your policy will not remain inforce as originally projected.”
The carrier also offered the option to surrender the policy, though they “strongly encourage” policy holders “to consider the value of your policy and the goals you established when you purchased it” before taking that course.
The carrier provided an 800 number to contact “dedicated service representatives” for assistance and “personalized information and illustrations specific to your policy,” and noted they are “committed to working with” policy holders to choose an option that “best meets their needs.”
We are not sure of the size of the COI increase. According to a John Hancock representative contacted by our New York City office, the amount of the increase will vary by policy. The representative also noted that roughly 4,000 Performance UL policies were evaluated and approximately 1,400 will be affected by the increase, though we cannot officially verify that.
It appears that inforce illustrations for the policies affected will begin to flow in the next few weeks, and as they are received and analyzed we will report back on our findings.