John Hancock Mutual Life Missing Life Insurance and Unclaimed Demutualization Compensation
John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company / ManuLife
John Hancock Mutual Life demutualized on November 30, 1999, and was renamed John Hancock Life Insurance Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. The reorganization provided eligible policyholders with shares of common stock, cash or policy credits in exchange for their membership interests.
Demutualization is the process of converting a mutual life insurance company, owned by its policyholders, to a publicly traded stock company owned by shareholders, pursuant to a plan of conversion approved by government regulators.
The amount paid to each policyholder is based on a number of factors, including length of time the policy has been in force, face value of the policy, and total premiums paid. For many policyholders, the windfall arising from demutualization can be substantial, but millions of missing policyholders and heirs aren't aware they are entitled to receive compensation.
Compensation consisted of a fixed component of 17 John Hancock Financial Services common shares, as well as a variable component based on policy value. Eligible policyholders include owners of life insurance policies, annuity contracts, guaranteed investment contracts, long-term care policies, and other accident and health policies. Lost policyholders were to receive cash compensation of $17 per share entitlement. In the first year after the initial public offering, the price of a John Hancock common share increased 107%. In 2004, John Hancock merged into Manulife.
Between one-quarter and one-half of all life insurance policies go unclaimed, because it is generally up to family members to notify the insurance company when a policyholder dies, and virtually no effort is made to find lost beneficiaries.
In addition,some three million missing policyholders and heirs aren't aware they are entitled to receive this demutualization compensation. Contact efforts were unsuccessful, due to name changes after marriage or divorce, unreported changes of address and expired postal forwarding orders (at the time of demutualization addresses for more than 400,000 policyholders were not current), and non-current beneficiary information.
By law, unclaimed policy benefits, including demutualization compensation, are remitted to the custody of a government trust account until claimants come forward. Last year government custodians collected $22.8 billion, of which less than $1 billion was claimed.
It is highly recommended that current and former policyholders and heirs - the majority of whom are unaware they're entitled to unclaimed policy benefits, stock & cash - initiate an Unclaimed Life Insurance Policy Search
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