A settlement involving over 200,000 senior citizens was recently approved in a California District Court lawsuit against Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America for the sale of deferred annuities to elderly victims. The class members in the class action lawsuit were recently awarded approximately $250 million in benefits as part of a settlement in the case. These class members consisted of senior citizens who had purchased deferred annuities from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America between 2001 and 2006. The lawsuit/case took almost 10 years to litigate. The plaintiffs in the case sued under the California Elder Abuse Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, Unfair Competition Law, and False Advertising Law. The complaint also alleged that Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America misrepresented and failed to disclose to consumers facts regarding costs and benefits of the annuities including improperly disclosed surrender charges.
Allianz’s website offers the following definition of a deferred annuity: “An annuity is a financial vehicle that is designed to help you prepare for retirement. Simply put, an annuity is a contract between you and an insurance company: You pay the insurance company premium or purchase payments, and in exchange you get benefits only an annuity can provide.”
California annuity fraud attorneys say that brokers often push the sale of deferred annuities, due to the higher commission rate they receive on these sales. In the recently settled lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that Allianz did exactly that, by offering commissions and other sales incentives to agents in order to get people to purchase deferred annuity products. California annuity fraud lawyers also warn that you should be careful of annuitization of your annuity policy because sometimes the costs outweigh the benefits that the consumer will receive. If you have annuitized (received a stream of immediate payments for your policy) before the end of the surrender charge or maturity period, such as within five years of purchasing the policy, and you have some concerns about how much you are getting, contact the Evans Law Firm, Inc. at email@example.com.
Evans Law Firm, Inc. was one of the law firms involved in this landmark case/lawsuit and settlement. Evans Law handles annuity fraud cases, as well as investment and financial fraud cases. If you or someone you know purchased an annuity policy from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, please contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. for a free and confidential initial consultation at 415-441-8669 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.