Best's Review



From the Editor's Desk
Taking Chances

John Hancock’s new CEO seeks to be a disrupter. Homeowners insurers, meanwhile, face steep losses this year from hurricanes and wildfires.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • November 2018
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Marianne Harrison says she likes a challenge. And it looks like she's found one. One year after taking the helm as CEO of John Hancock, she is setting out to transform the insurer, and potentially reinvent the life insurance model, by dramatically increasing engagement with consumers.

In “Choosing Disruption,” Harrison speaks with Best's Review about her vision for John Hancock and how she hopes to revitalize the brand.

“We've got to change our way of doing business to make sure we can interact with our customers the way they want, which is everything now,” Harrison said.

A big part of the company's strategy is to boost customer engagement with its Vitality program. The company announced in September it would build Vitality into all new life policies at no additional cost. It will integrate the program—which had been an optional benefit since it was launched in 2015—into its existing policies starting next year.

While the company admits the longer and healthier its policyholders live, the better off it is, it also says it has a responsibility to help its customers.

The idea of corporate social responsibility was also a major theme of a conversation with Axa Chairman Denis Duverne.

In “Changing the World One Habit at a Time,” Best's Review spoke with Duverne, who was in New York for a presentation at the United Nations about a tobacco initiative.

“We decided not only to divest from tobacco with Axa but also gain support from other banks, asset managers, insurance companies, and I started calling colleagues and friends to get them to support that move,” Duverne said.

November is Homeowners Insurance Awareness Month and Pet Insurance Awareness Month. As hurricane season draws to a close at the end of November, homeowners insurers are faced with major losses from Hurricane Michael as well as from wildfires in California.

In “A Burning Issue,” Best's Review looks at recent developments in the California homeowners insurance market following a series of major wildfires last year and this year.

Best's Review's coverage also includes our annual ranking of top homeowners insurers.

The November issue of Best's Review also includes a look at the state of industry loss reserves. In “Approaching the Line,” Best's Review speaks with JLT Re's David Flandro who says that while loss reserves have been and remain redundant, his research suggests the industry is approaching a period of net deficiencies.

Finally, Best's Review is available online in a new reader-friendly format. Go to to read and share these articles and other Best's Review content.

Patricia Vowinkel, Executive Editor,

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