Long-Term Insurance Policies
Pressure Sales Tactics
High Commissions, Hidden Fees And Surrender Penalties
All deferred annuities are complicated and risky, indexed annuities are particularly complex and full of risk. These complications and risks are especially dangerous for seniors; if a policyholder needs his or her money back for an emergency or because their care expenses have increased, any withdrawal of funds will be subject to a sizeable withdrawal penalty, also known as a surrender charge. In general, Evans Law Firm, Inc. recommends that seniors avoid deferred annuities because sales commissions are high, policies tie up your money for many years, and returns are routinely not as high as advertised “teaser” rates. There are simply too many pitfalls in these complex insurance products and we have seen many seniors lose money on them over the years. If you do go forward, pay attention to the paperwork; an agent may try and qualify you for a larger annuity than you can afford. If you have already been sold an annuity and you’re over 60 and live in Los Angeles, Orange County, or elsewhere in California and have suffered a loss due to cancellation, replacement, fees, or full or partial surrender, call us today at 415-441-8669 (or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS) for a free review of your policy.
Sales Commissions and Phantom “Bonuses”
An agent earns a significant sales commission every time he or she sells an annuity or persuades a consumer to trade in (exchange) an existing annuity for a new one. This commissions comes right out of your initial premium payment. If the agent tells you the policy’s “premium bonus” will return that money to you over time, don’t buy it. Policy bonuses are phantom amounts that you will most likely never see. It’s never a fund of money that you can withdraw separately – ever. Further, if you need to make a withdrawal or surrender to get your money back, the “bonus” your account was credited with on paper disappears. If the market improves and you want to exit the annuity to achieve a better return, you will pay surrender penalties that can wipe out any gain (if any) your money may have earned, and never see any repayment to you of the commission amount.
Costly Withdrawals And Exchanges
Surrender penalties and market value adjustments (MVAs) that decrease withdrawals of your own money are ways the annuity carrier protects itself from withdrawals by you to invest your money somewhere else. Surrender periods can last for ten years or more and the percentage penalties can be as high as 15%. If you had the same investment in a direct mutual fund, you would not be penalized if you decided down the road to switch investments. Annuities in other words lock you in. That’s a problem too. If you do stay in, the fees, caps, and participation limits will cut into your return. Whatever you do, always consult a professional with nothing to gain from a sale before you buy and always consult your tax advisor because any decision regarding annuities has ta consequences. If an agent recommends replacing your existing contract, be extra careful. Those kinds of transactions can trigger large tax liabilities, incur surrender charges, wipe out “bonuses,” and reset the clock on your surrender penalty period under the new policy.
If you or a loved one has suffered loss on the surrender, termination or transfer of an annuity in Los Angeles, Orange County or elsewhere in California call Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669 (or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS) or by email at <ahref=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</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 International Group, Inc. (AIG)
American National Life Insurance Company
Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company
Athene Annuity and Life Company
Aviva Life Insurance Company
AXA Equitable Financial Services, LLC
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US
AXA Advisors, LLC
Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife
EquiTrust Life Insurance Company
Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company
Genworth Financial, Inc.
Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company
Genworth Life Insurance Company
Guggenheim Partners, LLC
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
Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company/Brighthouse Financial, Inc.
Minnesota Life Insurance Company
Nationwide Investor Services Corporation (NISC)
Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company
Nationwide Life Insurance Company
New York Life Insurance Company
Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company
Pacific Life & Annuity Company
Pacific Life Insurance Company
Security Benefit Corporation
Security Benefit Group, Inc.
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners
Security Investors, LLC
Security of Denver Life Insurance Company/Voya
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
Voya Financial Advisors
Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company
World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.