Interest in Long Term Care Insurance Is on the Rise.

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LTC Insurance

Many insurance agents and brokers are seeing consumer interest in long term care (LTC) insurance growing and an even greater number anticipate they'll be asked about it more frequently in the future according to an online survey of 400 Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) members conducted for John Hancock Life Insurance Company (John Hancock) in March 2007.

Eighty-nine percent of respondents said they had seen an increase in consumer interest in the product over the last few years and 95 percent had said they anticipated they'd be asked about it more frequently in the future. In addition, ninety-eight percent of those surveyed believe that Long Term Care Insurance is a critical component of a comprehensive financial plan.

"I'm very encouraged by the demand for Long Term Care Insurance that agents and planners are observing," said Laura Moore, president, John Hancock Long Term Care Insurance. "Long term care insurance serves a very real need and these results confirm our belief that more and more consumers will be seeking long term care insurance solutions in the future."

Agents and brokers said the top reasons clients want to buy Long Term Care Insurance are to avoid being a burden on their families, and in response to having experienced a family occurrence of long term care.

Conversely, the number one obstacle to buying LTC insurance, according to those surveyed, is that clients view the product as being too expensive. The second most common challenge identified by sellers is that many clients don't yet see the need for LTC insurance.

"The results of our research indicate that the industry needs to continue its work on conveying the value of the insurance to consumers and tackling the affordability issue in innovative ways", said Moore.

In response to some of these challenges, John Hancock recently introduced Leading Edge(1), a policy with features that significantly reduce both the expense and complexity of buying LTC insurance. This new policy, targeted at the Boomer market, includes inflation coverage linked to the Consumer Price Index and a Caregiver Support Services benefit that lends help to younger buyers who are caring for parents or other older relatives.

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In addition to the increase in demand from consumers, nearly all respondents who were not currently involved with selling long term care insurance were interested in beginning to sell or in developing a partnership with someone who was selling LTC insurance. Overall, 84 percent of respondents already were involved and 14 percent said they wanted to begin selling or developing a partnership with an LTC insurance specialist. Only two percent said they weren't interested in selling LTC insurance at all.

"It's great that more advisors want to be able to offer LTC insurance as an option," said Moore. "Even if they don't want to become the expert, they are interested in working with someone who is."

Methodology

John Hancock commissioned the producer survey through Zoomerang. Zoomerang pioneered online survey software in 1999 to give organizations a powerful self-service alternative to conduct accurate comprehensive surveys with a minimum of cost and effort. Today, Zoomerang is the world's #1 source of online surveys, helping thousands of organizations -- including over 70 of the Fortune 100 -- in 100+ countries.

John Hancock Long Term Care Insurance

Today, John Hancock, a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, is one of the largest providers of LTC insurance overall with more than 1,000,000 clients and $1.4 billion of in-force premium.

Having entered the retail LTC insurance market in 1987, John Hancock is one of the largest providers of individual coverage in the country. John Hancock began selling group LTC insurance in 1988 and today is the largest provider of employer-sponsored LTC insurance in the U.S.

Long Term Care Insurance is underwritten by John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Boston, MA 02117

1 Benefits and premiums of long term care insurance will vary by state.

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