|John Hancock Mutual Life Unclaimed Demutualization Compensation|
John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company
Demutualization is the process of converting a mutual life insurance company, which is owned by its policyholders, into a publicly traded stock company owned by shareholders, pursuant to a plan of conversion approved by policyholders and government regulators. Mutual life policyholders (and heirs) continue to be entitled to receive whatever policy benefits may be due, but in addition receive stock, cash and/or policy credits in exchange for their ownership interest in the old mutual insurance company.
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. Shares may be sold at any time, without affecting policy benefits.
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. Eligible policyholders include owners of life insurance policies, annuity contracts, guaranteed investment contracts, long-term care policies, and other accident and health policies.
Compensation consisted of a fixed component of 17 John Hancock Financial Services common shares, as well as a variable component based on policy value. 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%.
Some three million missing policyholders and heirs aren't aware they are entitled to receive 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 demutualization compensation is remitted to the custody of a government trust account until claimants come forward. Current and former policyholders and their heirs - the majority of whom are unaware they're entitled to unclaimed stock and/or cash - should initiate a database search at: Lost Policyholder Demutualization Claims Search