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Mar 5, 2019 by |

California and San Francisco Annuity Fraud and Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Annuity Fraud on Seniors

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Annuity Salesmen Target Seniors

Avoid the “Free Lunch”

Commission-driven insurance agents target seniors and retirement savers with all kinds of complicated annuities especially in volatile markets. There’s an inherent conflict in their sales pitch because what’s best for the agent isn’t necessarily what’s best for the consumer. One consumer watchdog summarized the problem best when he said, “Variable and fixed indexed annuities are the most complex, opaque and conflict-ridden, because they pay the people recommending the annuities the highest commissions and give them other types of perks.”[1]  The San Francisco financial elder abuse and annuity fraud attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. recommend you stay away from these expensive, complex products.  We represent seniors who have lost money through high commissions and fees, withdrawal charges and tax bills as a result of the sales and exchanges of inappropriate annuities and other fraud. If you or someone you know is over 60 and lives in San Francisco or elsewhere in California and is a victim of annuity fraud, call us today at 415-441-8669. 

Much of the recent growth in annuity sales stems from the Trump Administration’s about face on a Labor Department rule meant to protect consumers from exploitation. The so-called “fiduciary rule” promulgated under the Obama Administration held agents and brokers to a higher standard – putting their clients’ interests first when making recommendations, a duty known legally as a fiduciary duty.  Released from this fiduciary standard, agents no longer have to worry about whether their recommendations are in a client’s best interests.   Hard sells at free lunch seminars and other questionable sales techniques and recommendations predictably follow.

And so do abuse and exploitation, particularly of seniors. Policyholders may not understand the way complex annuities actually work, and cannot count on an agent to explain it all.  Withdrawals (called “surrenders”) carry penalties and extra benefits (sold as “riders”) may never come to be.  Fortunately, California insurance and elder law prohibit deceptive practices and require certain disclosures.  Agents and carriers violate the law when those disclosures aren’t made. Those violations may constitute financial elder abuse when committed against a senior.  Our attorneys pursue all remedies available to senior victims of this kind of financial elder abuse.  California law provides restitution (getting your money back), extra damages (to punish the fraudulent conduct) and awards of attorneys’ fees and costs to the senior forced to bring an action against the wrongdoers.  We handle financial elder abuse cases every day and will work with you to see justice is done and those responsible for your loss pay up. 

Contact Us

If you or a loved one been the victim of annuity fraud in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other Evans Law Firm annuity fraud attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement.  We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.

Annuities and life insurance produce large sales commissions for brokers but are often inappropriate products for consumers, especially seniors. Leading providers and distributors of life insurance and fixed, variable and fixed indexed deferred annuities in California are listed below.  We are not in any way suggesting that any of these carriers or distributors has done anything wrong.  Rather, the list is provided solely as a reference for our readers.

AIG/American General Life Insurance Company

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company

American General Life Insurance Company/AIG

American National Life Insurance Company

Ameriprise Financial/RiverSource Life Insurance Company

Ameriprise Financial/Securities America, Inc.

Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company

Athene Annuity and Life Company

Athene USA

Aviva Life Insurance Company

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US

Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty Company

Berkshire Hathaway Group

Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company of Nebraska

Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife

Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

Crump Life Insurance Services, Inc.

CUNA Mutual Group/CMFG Life Insurance Company

Delaware Life Insurance Company

EquiTrust Life Insurance Company

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company

Forethought Life Insurance Company/Global Atlantic Financial Group

Genworth Financial, Inc.

Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company

Genworth Life Insurance Company

Global Atlantic Financial Group/Forethought Life Insurance Company

Guardian Life Insurance Company

Guggenheim Partners/Security Benefit Life Insurance Company

 ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company

Jackson National Life Insurance Company

John Hancock Life Insurance Company

Lincoln Benefit Life Company

Lincoln Financial Group

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company/Brighthouse Financial, Inc.

Minnesota Life Insurance Company

National Life Group

National Life Insurance Company/Equity Services, Inc.

National Western Life Insurance Company

Nationwide Life Insurance Company

New York Life Insurance Company

North American Company for Life and Health Insurance

Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company

Oxford Life Insurance Company

Pacific Life Insurance Company

Principal Financial Group

Prudential Life Insurance Company

Raymond James Insurance Group

Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company/Tokio Marine Group

RiverSource Life Insurance Company/Ameriprise Financial

Securities America, Inc./Ameriprise Financial

Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners

The Standard Life Insurance Company

Symetra Financial Corporation

Symetra Life Insurance Company

Transamerica Life Insurance Company

Unum Life Insurance Company of America

USAA Life Insurance Company

Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company

Wells Fargo Advisors

Western & Southern Financial Group

The Western & Southern Life Insurance Company

World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.

[1] Micah Hauptman, counsel with the Consumer Federation of America, quoted in “Annuities Pitched With a Free Dinner? Be Wary,” in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, by Eileen Ambrose, January 31, 2019.  You can read the entire article here: https://www.kiplinger.com/article/investing/T003-C000-S002-annuities-pitched-with-a-free-dinner-be-wary.html.

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