John Hancock Long-Term Care Insurance Sales Hit Record High

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by Tanya Irwin, Tuesday, Sep 4, 2007 5:00 AM ET
JOHN HANCOCK LONG-TERM CARE (LTC) Insurance recently posted its best sales quarter ever, due in no small part to the efforts of its marketing department.
Sales of $58.2 million for Q2 ’07 represented a 61% increase compared to the same quarter last year. Group LTC Insurance posted its best sales quarter ever, bolstered by the enrollment of several large clients and increased activity in the emerging small- to mid-sized employer market. Retail LTC Insurance sales increased 17% over Q2 ’06 and 34% on a year-to-date basis.

The company’s marketing directly to consumers includes, which offers a basic education on what LTC insurance is, as well as links to the company’s 20,000+ brokers and consultants who sell the product. The company’s marketing department also prepares all of the brochures and other written materials that the brokers/agents then pass on to potential customers, says Laura Vail Wooster, assistant vice president of marketing and communications for the LTC division.

“One of the reasons we’ve done so well is because the marketing department is so closely linked with the sales and product development groups,” Wooster tells Marketing Daily. “At the end of the day, what the customer cares about is whether the company is going to be there for them when they need the LTC benefits. Trust and reliability are what are emphasized because it’s what customers care most about.”

The company offers a range of products that provides coverage for individuals, couples, families and employees of large and small companies. Target markets, which receive special attention in the materials, include women, Baby Boomers, seniors and the lesbian/gay consumer.

The marketing department recently completed a testimonial brochure with positive stories about the benefits of LTC, Wooster says. There has also been a special focus on Boomers in the past year, with a new product called “Leading Edge” which helps them to cope with taking care of their own aging parents, as well as planning for their own care down the road.

With 36 new clients and $23.9 million in new sales during Q2 alone, John Hancock’s Group LTC insurance business more than tripled results achieved during the previous year. Adding re-enrollment numbers to new sales, John Hancock’s figure represents approximately 50% of the entire group market for the first half of 2007.

Boston-based John Hancock, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., is one of the largest providers of LTC insurance overall with more than 1 million LTC clients and $1.4 billion of in-force LTC premium and more than $1 billion in LTC claims paid.

LTC insurance provides benefits to help consumers manage the cost of long-term care services that are needed when they can no longer perform normal activities of daily living that healthy, fully functioning people do on their own. This kind of assistance may be necessary due to an accident or lengthy illness, chronic health conditions and/or physical disabilities, such as a stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s.

Many Americans mistakenly assume that most people receive LTC services in nursing homes. But in actuality, more than 78% of adults receive LTC at home. An LTC insurance policy covers all levels of care, including skilled, custodial or personal, at home and in a variety of settings.

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