An insurer has given consumers a new tool for coping with increases in the cost of long term care.

John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Boston, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto, is introducing a “guaranteed increase option” for purchasers of its Leading Edge long term care insurance policy.

The option, which will be available to existing and future Leading Edge policyholders at no extra charge, will give customers the ability to increase their current policy benefit amount by 10% every 3 years without underwriting.

The option will be available even if the policyholder has declined the offer in the past, Hancock says.

The price of any additional coverage purchased “will be based on current age, original risk category and premium rates in effect on the option date,” Hancock says.