Variable universal life insurance

Variable universal life insurance offers permanent lifetime insurance protection, flexible premium payments and the ability to build cash value. You have the opportunity to accumulate cash value by choosing from a variety of investment options across risk categories. Variable universal life policies have the potential for greater cash value growth than other types of life insurance. They can also lose cash value. If you're comfortable with market fluctuations, this type of policy may be an option to consider.

Before you purchase variable universal life insurance, you may want to consider the following:

  • Your policy's account value will vary depending upon the performance of the investment options selected (which is not guaranteed).
  • You can take money from the policy via withdrawals and loans. However, keep in mind that this will decrease the cash value and death benefit if the amount borrowed is not repaid.
  • You can transfer funds among different investment options to allow you to develop a strategy that works for you as your needs change over your lifetime.


Loans and withdrawals will reduce the death benefit and the cash surrender value, and may cause the policy to lapse. Lapse or surrender of a policy with a loan may cause the recognition of taxable income. Withdrawals in excess of the cost basis (premiums paid) will be subject to tax and certain withdrawals within the first 15 years may be subject to recapture tax. Additionally, policies classified as modified endowment contracts may be subject to tax when a loan or withdrawal is made. A federal tax penalty of 10% may also apply if the loan or withdrawal is taken prior to age 59 1/2.

Variable insurance contracts are offered through John Hancock Distributors LLC through other broker/dealers that have a selling agreement with John Hancock Distributors LLC, 197 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA 02116.

Term vs. permanent life insurance

Click this quick reference chart
to help you understand the
value of both.



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Insurance policies and/or associated riders and features may not be available in all states. Insurance products are issued by John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A),197 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA 02116 (not licensed in New York) and John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York, 100 Summit Lake Drive, 2nd floor, Valhalla, NY 10595.