BOSTON--John Hancock Life Insurance Company has quadrupled the long-term care insurance (LTCI) operations professionals who support the sale of its LTCI products from 6 staff members to 24. The expanded support enhances service for its existing LTCI channels including career agents, its national account team, managing general agents (MGAs) and banks, and allows the company to serve two new channels, brokerage general agents (BGAs) and broker-dealers.

"With less than 10 percent of U.S. adults over 45 covered by LTCI, there is a huge potential in the LTCI market," said Michele Van Leer, executive vice president, John Hancock Long-Term Care Insurance. "We feel the key to success will be our ability to support all producers who want to offer LTCI to their clients, and this effort is the beginning."

Hancock provides two levels of support depending on level of LTCI expertise within the channel.  Hancock's career agents, national account team, affiliated MGAs, and now affiliated BGAs, are generally well-versed in LTCI and have a back office able to support LTCI sales.  Hancock has supported these channels through a system in which regional sales directors provide product information and training, while account executives help with account relationships and support services. In order to provide greater dedicated service, Hancock has increased the number of regional sales directors from three to four and increased the number of internal account executives from three to four.

"Our distributors are our clients," said Joe Catalano, senior vice president, John Hancock Long-Term Care Insurance.  "Increasing our support staff means they'll get more visits from us, more help and ultimately be able to place more business with John Hancock."

Broker-dealers and banks, which specialize in investment services other than LTCI, but do not have a back office that can handle LTCI, need more comprehensive support.  Hancock has created a new wholesaling organization including six external wholesalers plus a manager and nine internal wholesalers.

"This channel wants to be able to offer LTCI to protect the assets they've helped their clients build, but aren't really set up to do so," said Catalano. "We've created an organization so that they can."

The merger between Manulife Financial Corporation and John Hancock created a resulting organization that is financially stronger and able to pursue growth opportunities, including expanding in the long-term care insurance arena.

"As part of Manulife's U.S. Protection division, John Hancock Long-Term Care Insurance has access to increased resources and financial strength, as well as the backing of the second largest life insurer in all of North America," said Van Leer.  "John Hancock will continue to be a leader in LTCI product innovation, but we'll also be able to expand distribution in ways we were not able to before."

Having entered the retail LTCI business in 1987 and group LTCI business in 1988, John Hancock currently is number 2 in the overall market with 14 percent market share, more than 800,000 clients and $1.1 billion in in-force premium.

Source: John Hancock



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