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Feb 21, 2022 by |

Marin County Financial Elder Abuse And Annuity Attorney: Asking The Right Questions About Annuities

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Agents Target Seniors For Annuity Sales

Beware Of Questionable Sales Tactics

Questions To Ask And Red Flags For Consumers

Evans Law Firm, Inc. recommends seniors avoid deferred annuities because deferred annuity contracts are expensive and complicated and tie up a senior’s money for years. If you are approached with an annuity proposal by an agent, do not allow yourself to be pressured into a sale; take your time and ask a lot of questions (see below).  Questionable sales tactics and sales of unsuitable annuities violate the law and constitute financial elder abuse when the targeted consumer is a senior.  Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse); Cal. Ins. §§ 790 et seq. (Unfair Insurance Practices Act) and 10509 (suitability requirement).  Any senior victim may be entitled to damages and an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing a case.  Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.  If you are over 60, live in Marin or elsewhere in the Bay Area or throughout the State of California and own a deferred annuity (such as a fixed indexed annuity), call us today at 415-441-8669 (or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS) for a free review of your policy. 

Understand the Product You are Being Sold

When it comes to annuities, inappropriate sales practices can occur in many ways and come from a variety of sources. Anyone can be a victim, but senior citizens remain a prime target. Here are a few ways to protect yourself:

  • Always review the contract before you allow an agent to sell you an annuity. Terms and conditions of each annuity contract will vary.
  • You should understand the long-term nature of your purchase. Surrender penalties will be imposed if you try to take your money out of a policy for as long as ten years or more from the policy date.
  • Compare information for similar contracts from several companies.
  • Ask your agent and/or the company for an explanation of anything you do not understand.
  • Remember that the quality of service you can expect from the company and the agent should be an important factor in your decision.
  • Verify that the company and agent are licensed. In order to sell insurance in California, companies and agents must be licensed. To confirm the status of a company or agent, fun a search for the agent’s license here: https://cdicloud.insurance.ca.gov/cal.
  • Check the company’s credit rating. Legitimate insurers have their “creditworthiness” rated by independent agencies such as A.M. Best Co., Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s, or Weiss Ratings Inc. You can check a company’s rating online or at your local library.
  • The proof is in the paperwork. As you complete your research and decide to purchase a particular policy, it is important to keep detailed records. Get all rate quotes and key information in writing. Once you have made a purchase, keep a copy of all paperwork you complete and sign, as well as any correspondence, special offers, and payment

Avoid Being Fooled by Deceptive Sales Practices

Watch for the following red flags, which serve as warnings of possible deceptive sales practices:

  • High-pressure sales pitch. If a particular group or agent has contacted you repeatedly, offering a “limited-time” deal that makes you uncomfortable or aggravated, trust your instincts and steer clear.
  • Quick-change tactics. Skilled scam artists will try to prey on your “time fears.” They may try to convince you to change coverage quickly without giving you the opportunity to do adequate research.
  • Unwilling or unable to prove credibility. A licensed agent will be more than willing to show adequate credentials.
  • Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Contact Us

If you are over 60 and live in Marin or elsewhere in the State of California and have an indexed annuity, we can review your contract for free.  You can reach Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS or by email at <a href=”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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"We contacted Evans Law Firm when we were unable to collect on a Long-Term Life Insurance policy for an elderly family member. Ingrid responded almost immediately with an offer of a free consultation. I was immediately impressed with her passion for justice!!"
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