Manulife first to increase testing limits to $1 million for insurance policies

Without the need for fluids, policies can be issued in less than one week

Waterloo, ON (May 9, 2016) – Manulife today announced that it will underwrite term life insurance policies without the need to meet with a paramedical to gather blood, urine and other biometric data for policies up to $1 million for eligible applicants between the ages of 18 and 40 in most cases.

“Manulife is the first insurer in Canada to raise the limit to $1 million,” said Marianne Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife Canada. “We are focusing on making the life insurance application process faster and easier so Canadians can achieve the level of protection they need.”

According to the LIMRA Canadian Life Insurance Ownership Study(1), almost half of Canadian households surveyed admit they would have trouble meeting everyday living expenses if a primary wage earner died. A Manulife study found that 43 per cent of middle-market(2) Canadians surveyed have no individual life insurance, and while many rely on group coverage, 27 per cent have no group life insurance. Even among those with some life insurance, 70 per cent have less than $500,000 of life insurance.

The previous limit was $250,000 to apply without the requirement of fluids and had been the industry standard for close to 20 years. Manulife has developed analytic tools that can better process the data obtained from reviewing thousands of applications over generations as well as inputs from a growing number of public sources. This modernization of underwriting will reduce the turnaround time on applications to less than a week for eligible applicants from the industry standard of four weeks.

There are exceptions to the increased limit process based on diagnosed medical conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes. These applicants will be required to provide additional information similar to current industry practices.

“Canadians are seeing a modernization of the insurance industry in Canada,” added Harrison. “Manulife recently became the first insurer in Canada to underwrite HIV positive Canadians and with the introduction of Vitality, Canadians are seeing how Manulife is making life insurance easier to access and more relevant to their lives.”


1. LIMRA, “Billion Dollar Baby: Sales Potential of the Underinsured Life Market in Canada,” based on the LIMRA Canadian Life Insurance Ownership Study, 2006.

2. Manulife Financial survey conducted with 1,000 Canadian homeowners between the ages of 30 and 50 with household income of $50,000 to $150,000 per annum. Conducted online by Research House, March 2011.

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group providing forward-thinking solutions to help people with their big financial decisions. We operate as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions.

At the end of 2015, we had approximately 34,000 employees, 63,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving 20 million customers. At the end of December 2015, we had $935 billion (US$676 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made more than $24.6 billion in benefits, interest and other payments to our customers.

Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as ‘MFC’ on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong.

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SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation