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Feb 24, 2021 by |

Marin County and California Annuity and Financial Elder Abuse Attorneys: Beware High-Pressure Sales Tactics For Deferred Annuities

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Free Lunch Seminars and Ads Push “Financial Strategies”

If It Sounds Too Good To Be True, It Usually Is

Take Your Time and Do Your Homework

Older adults are too often the targets of annuity salespeople intent on earning a sales commission.  Sales tactics include free lunch or dinner seminars advertised as “financial strategy planning” or “financial tips for seniors” or some other title that sounds informative and useful.  But the real story is very different.  The free meal setting often turns into a high-pressure sales setting and if you do not buy on the spot you may set yourself up for some high pressure pursuing thereafter.  The truth is that deferred annuities are highly complex insurance contracts and they are very expensive to get out of later if you are not satisfied or need your money back.  California law protects seniors from agents selling them unsuitable insurance products.  The Marin financial elder abuse and annuity attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent indivudals over 60 who have suffered a loss due to cancellation, replacement, full or partial surrender, or high fees connected with a deferred annuity or other unsuitable insurance product here in Marin or throughout California. Call us today at 415-441-8669 (or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS) for a free review of your policy. 

What Does Suitability Mean?

“Suitability” means that any recommendation of an insurance product is appropriate for a consumer’s “financial situation and needs.”  Cal. Ins. Code § 10509.914(a). A consumer’s “financial situation and needs” is evaluated on the basis of income, expenses, debts, age of the consumer, liquid savings, and related financial information.  California insurance law and financial industry standards both require insurance agents and financial advisors to gather financial information and to evaluate the “suitability” of any insurance product they offer to senior consumers.  See Cal. Ins. Code § 10509.914 (insurance agent “shall have reasonable grounds for believing that the recommendation is suitable for the consumer”); FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Rule 2330 (advisors and brokers and their supervisors responsible for satisfying suitability requirements for financial products sold).  Agents and carriers are required to gather information in order to evaluate suitability.  That information includes:

  • Age of consumer
  • Financial status of consumer including income, liquid assets and care needs/living expenses
  • Does the senior consumer have Long Term Care Insurance in place?
  • Tax status of the consumer
  • Investment objectives
  • Other information to be used or considered relevant

Prohibitions on Selling Unsuitable Products As “Exchanges”

The suitability requirement applies to all California consumers when it comes to the sale of annuities but there are additional safeguards for seniors in this “suitability” requirement.  Specifically, the law forbids insurance agents from recommending an exchange of an existing annuity for a new one if the transaction “requires the insured to pay a surrender charge for the annuity that is being replaced, where purchase of the annuity does not confer a substantial financial benefit over the life of the policy to the consumer, so that a reasonable person would believe the purchase is unnecessary.” Cal. Ins. Code § 10509.914(c)(emphasis added).  Our financial elder abuse and annuity litigators have represented senior consumers in many cases where an agent has talked a senior into an exchange or replacement of an existing contract and the senior has suffered serious economic injury as a result of surrender charges on the existing policy and heavy tax liability for the surrender.  Never agree to any exchange, replacement or surrender of an annuity without consulting your tax advisor.

Contact Us

Marin annuity and financial elder abuse attorney Ingrid M. Evans and the other attorneys at Evans Law Firm represent seniors who have been sold an unsuitable annuity, or where the agent and carrier failed to disclose important information or otherwise caused senior consumers to lose money on deferred annuities.   If you are over age 60 and have lost money as the result of a deferred annuity transaction or surrender in Marin County or elsewhere in California, you can reach Ingrid and the other Evans Law Firm attorneys at (415) 441-8669 (or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS)  or by email at <ahref=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>..

Some significant issuers and distributors of 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.  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

Athene USA

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

PacLife

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.

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"I contacted Attorney Ingrid Evans for advice about a financial elder abuse case. She was extremely knowledgeable, bright and informative. I highly recommend her. I am an attorney myself, and know when I am talking to a another excellent attorney."
Posted By: Terry Kolkey Attorney

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