I struggle to answer this question when I get asked because I don’t know what people mean by “good”. So let me field a few ways that I think of as “good”:
1) Is the company strong financially? Yes – they are still rated very high by Standard and Poors, Moody’s, Fitch ,etc.
2) Do they have good rate stability? Well, compared to other companies, Hancock has been fairly conservative in their rate increases on existing policy holders over the years. But that is not to say they have had “no rate increases”. They have. So have all the other companies in this market. I would rank Hancock in the middle on this item – they aren’t the company with the least rate increases, but nor are they a company that has had some truly eye-opening and jaw-dropping increases.
3) Do they pay claims? Yes. But all companies will pay claims if you meet the contract criteria. In this Hancock is like every other company.
4) Are they easy to work with at claim? Insurance claims are simply document intensive. Always. There are no long term care claims that don’t involve significant documentation to prove you are medically eligible according to the contract and that your care provider is eligible. I would say Hancock is as good as any of them and better than some. They at least have staff available by phone to answer your questions and help you get forms. Further, once you have a claim formally opened, they will assist somewhat to help you get documents gathered up. So Hancock is “good” in that they don’t just leave you to cope alone with only a website or a voicemail system as your “help”.
5) Can I buy a policy with them? Not as of this writing. As of now, Hancock is not offering long term care policies to consumers (though there are still other good companies offering coverage – schedule an appointment with an agent HERE). They still back the Federal Long Term Care program, but you can only access that program if you work for the federal government or are a retiree from there. Further, that is a benefit that goes out to bid periodically – whenever it comes up for bid next, no one an guarantee that Hancock will still be the company backing it.
6) Should I replace my existing Hancock long term care policy? Probably not. Once you have owned a policy for 3 years or more, it is really difficult to replace it and price touch the benefits. You are now older, first, and second you have to buy more benefits to equal what you now own. All in all, typically it is more cost effective to keep your existing policy than replace it. However, if you wish you can always contact an agent to give you current rates so you can see just how much more it costs now than it did when you bought this product “back in the day”.
That may or may not have answered your question about whether or not Hancock is a “good” company to own. The bottom line is that Hancock is a strong, reputable company. They have a track record of paying claims well and trying to help people gather all the documents required in this document intensive process. So yes, if you own a Hancock policy, I would say hold on to it.
Stana Martin, PhD, founded Mrs LTC to provide a top-quality resource for clients and customers who need help with long term care claims or insurance comparisons.
Contact – Mrs. LTC
Long Term Care Claims & Insurance