New York Life vs. John Hancock Life Insurance: Which Is Right for You?

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  • Compare life insurance products from New York Life vs. John Hancock. Find out what each company offers, and discover which one is right for your needs.

New York Life and John Hancock are two of the biggest and oldest life insurance providers in the United States — both companies have been in business for more than 150 years. If you're searching for exceptional ratings and stability, it's hard to beat New York Life; if you have diabetes, or you're looking for healthy-living discounts, John Hancock's unique programs deliver. Before you choose, it's helpful to compare coverage options and policy types.

New York Life Life Insurance Summary

New York Life offers a selection of life insurance policies, including term, whole life, universal and variable. The company's term life policies offer several payment options, including fixed and increasing payments. Whole life policies give you the option to earn dividends, and universal policies can offer affordable long-term coverage. If you're interested in building wealth, a variable policy offers the highest growth potential and flexible investing options.

If you need help selecting the right type of life insurance, New York Life might be a good choice; the company will put you in touch with a financial professional in your area rather than an agent. They'll help you select the best level of coverage for your family's needs and financial situation. 

John Hancock Life Insurance Summary

John Hancock offers two primary types of life insurance: term and permanent. The company's term life policies offer high-value coverage that ranges from $750,000 to $65 million. You can choose from terms of 10, 15, 20 or 30 years. Permanent policies cover you for a lifetime, often building a cash value over time. Choose from universal, indexed universal and variable universal life insurance options to fulfill your financial goals and match your risk tolerance.

John Hancock is known for its Vitality program, which can be added onto a variety of life insurance policies. Vitality rewards you for healthy behaviors such as exercise and nutrition education. With a free or paid membership, you can save up to 25% on premiums, earn discounts and get access to health-related advice. 

New York Life vs. John Hancock Life Insurance Comparison of Accessibility

New York Life and John Hancock use a person-to-person sales process — neither company offers online quotes or online applications. New York Life requires you to go through a financial professional; John Hancock sends you to an agent to discuss needs and complete the application process.

Most policies from New York Life and John Hancock require a medical exam. However, both providers offer guaranteed-acceptance options with low coverage limits. If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, John Hancock may be the more accessible provider. The company's Aspire with Vitality program is designed specifically for people living with diabetes; it can help you secure life insurance, save money and take steps to live a healthy life.

New York Life vs. John Hancock Life Insurance Comparison of Company Ratings

When it comes to financial strength and credit, New York Life has the highest possible ratings from A.M. Best (A++), Moody's (Aaa), Standard & Poor's (AA+) and Fitch (AAA). J.D. Power gives the company a customer satisfaction ranking of 777/1000. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives New York Life an A- rating — in part because it is not BBB accredited. Reviewers tend to appreciate the company's flexible policy options and exceptional customer service, but they don't like the lack of online tools.

John Hancock has lower ratings: A.M. Best (A+), Moody's (A1), Standard and Poor's (AA-), and Fitch (A+). The company ranks higher in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction index, with a score of 781/1000. John Hancock is BBB accredited and has a rating of A+. Reviewers praise the Vitality program and high coverage options but occasionally complain about customer service.

New York Life vs. John Hancock Life Insurance Comparison of Riders

Most life insurance policies have strict coverage limits and terms; typically, they provide a death benefit for your beneficiaries and the opportunity to take out loans against the cash value. If you want more from your policy, you can buy riders. These add-on options increase your premium costs, but they can provide extra protection. For example, a critical illness rider gives you a lump sum of cash to help cover expenses if you're diagnosed with specific diseases or conditions.

New York Life and John Hancock both offer a selection of riders. The available options are different for each policy type. John Hancock stands out with its long-term care rider and unemployment waiver, which covers your premiums if you lose your job. New York Life's exclusive spouse paid-up insurance purchase option allows your spouse to use your term life policy to buy a fully paid policy without undergoing a medical examination. The money-back option rider gives you cash back if you decide you don't need coverage down the line.


John Hancock

New York Life

Critical illness 



Long-term care


Accelerated benefit



Disability benefit



Unemployment waiver


Spouse paid-up insurance


Accidental death



Return of premium



Money back option


Choosing the Right Insurance Company for You

New York Life and John Hancock are two well-established life insurance companies with a variety of policy options. Before you choose a provider, it's important to research thoroughly and compare quotes — your costs and coverage options may vary. The more information you have, the easier it is to select the appropriate policy for you and your dependents.

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