Maritime Life introduces unique solution for managing disability in the workplace

ProAct(TM) promotes early intervention and an added focus on non-medical issues

HALIFAX, N.S., Sept. 5, 2002 – Maritime Life introduced a unique new product, ProAct(TM), to the group insurance marketplace today. This exclusive disability management program will help employers cope with the effects of rising short-term disability absences and costs.

ProAct(TM) provides a comprehensive plan to address both the medical and non-medical issues that may be causing recurring work absences or impeding an employee’s successful return-to-work.

Disability case managers establish a relationship with each individual as soon as possible after an absence is reported. Employees are actively engaged in planning their return to work and are encouraged to focus on their capabilities and work readiness rather than their illness or injury. Where warranted, professionally facilitated meetings between the employee and their manager are arranged to discuss and resolve any work-related issues that may be impacting the return to work. These meetings are conducted by qualified facilitators provided through Maritime Life’s service partner – FGI, one of Canada’s leaders in employee effectiveness programs. Statistics show that Canadians are taking increasingly more time off work because of disability and personal or family responsibilities.

According to Statistics Canada, on average, each full-time worker in Canada in 2001 took 8.5 non-vacation days off for health or family reasons. This was half a day more than in 2000, and over a full day more than in 1997.

As Mike McMurray, manager, product management and research explains, “Disability absences impact not only the health of the individuals involved, they also affect employers, their colleagues and customers in many ways. Employers are searching for solutions to help create healthier, more productive work environments. We believe ProAct(TM) is a viable solution. We’ve talked with our customers and understand their needs and challenges in this area and we’ve designed ProAct with those needs in mind.”

Founded in 1922, Maritime Life is one of Canada’s fastest growing financial services companies, offering financial security through a selection of personal insurance, disability and critical illness insurance, investment products, pensions, and group life and health products and services. Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Maritime Life provides benefits to over two million Canadian families through offices in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Kitchener, Oakville, Calgary and Vancouver. With over 2,000 employees, employee satisfaction is a top priority and the reason Maritime Life was named one of the “50 Best Companies to Work for in Canada” by the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine.

As a subsidiary of Boston-based John Hancock Financial Services, Inc., Maritime Life comes from a tradition of strength and stability. John Hancock Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: JHF) and its affiliated companies, including
John Hancock Life Insurance Company, provide a broad array of insurance and investment products and services to retail and institutional customers. As of June 30, 2002, John Hancock and its subsidiaries had total assets under management of $123.7 billion US.

For more information about Maritime Life’s products and services, visit our Website at