An insurer says a new variable universal life insurance policy is suitable for use in arrangements such as spousal irrevocable life insurance trusts and key-person insurance programs.

The new Protection VUL product provides a strong death benefit as well as the potential for policyholders to accumulate cash, according to John Hancock Life Insurance, Boston, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto.

John Hancock reports that it also is increasing the current fixed account crediting rate by 2 percentage points until the end of the year, and offering more methods that Protection VUL holders can use to shift assets to the variable options from the fixed account through “dollar cost averaging.”

Dollar cost averaging is a strategy for trying to ride out the ups and downs in the stock market by regularly putting relatively small amounts of cash in investment funds.

Policyholders who buy the Extended No-Lapse Guarantee rider can choose from a menu of actively managed Lifestyle Portfolio options, Pre-built Asset Allocation options, a money market option or a fixed account, Hancock says.

A basic no-lapse guarantee is included in the Protection VUL policy automatically.

John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.) and John Hancock Life Insurance Company of New York, Valhalla, N.Y., issue John Hancock Life policies and are responsible for backing policy and rider guarantees.