AXA, a massive international financial company, is among the largest insurance companies on the planet. Operating through a large number of subsidiaries and brands in various countries around the globe, AXA owns a significant portion of the life, health, and property insurance policies held by consumers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Among the products they offer are Whole Life Insurance, Indexed Universal Life Insurance, and Variable Annuities.
Policyholders and financial advisors have found fault with a number of financial products, particularly those marketed towards seniors. While many states, California among them, have stringent regulations in place to protect seniors, and sizeable penalties for disregarding them, both brokers and insurance companies often violate the law by selling seniors inappropriate policies, generating a significant profit for themselves. Among the types of policies most often used this way are Whole Life Insurance, Indexed Universal Life Insurance, and Variable Annuities.
Many financial advisors will tell you that Whole Life Insurance is a waste of money for the vast majority of consumers. It is often far more expensive than term life while providing the same coverage, and the “tax deferred cash value” that accrues is rarely worth the cost of the premiums, and which is diminished by hidden costs such as surrender penalties. These advisors suggest that instead of counting on the minimal returns one gets from a Whole Life policy, retirees should “buy term and invest the difference,” a practice that our California life insurance and annuity attorneys believe is more likely to generate useful retirement income.
“Indexed,” a term that can be found in many financial products these days, should be a warning sign for consumers. Generally, it means that your policy is tied to the performance of a stock market index (hence the name) such as the S&P 500. While brokers and marketing materials suggest that this can help bring in closer to market rate returns, in practice it means that if the economy does well, the insurance company can scoop up your extra income, and if it does poorly, they can pay you less than they would for a traditional policy. There’s a good reason insurance companies pay brokers a larger commission on these types of policies.
Variable annuities are another product that has come under scrutiny, particularly in 2016. New rules and regulations have gone into effect, limiting the ways that brokers and marketers can try to sell this type of policies. Variable annuities often contain numerous hidden costs and fees, including surrender penalties, liquidity fees, management fees, and the broker’s commission, which can be as much as 15% of the total value of the policy.
Some of the major annuity and life insurance providers are:
- Aviva/Athene/Accordia Life Insurance Company
- Transamerica Life Insurance Company
- John Hancock Life Insurance Company
- Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty company
- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
- Midland Life Insurance Company
- North American Company for Life and Health Insurance
- Pacific Life Insurance Company
- Prudential Life Insurance Company
- Genworth Life Insurance Company
- ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln Benefit Life Company
- Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
- Unum Life Insurance Company of America
- Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an improperly sold or administered policy from AXA or other insurance companies, contact the Evans Law firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at . Our California life insurance and annuity attorneys have experience dealing with large insurance companies like AXA, and can help guide your case through a jury trial or towards an equitable settlement.