Allianz is a European insurance company that is one of the largest providers of annuities and other insurance products to senior citizens in the United States. Since 2005, Allianz has faced several class action lawsuits alleging that the company fraudulently marketed some of its most popular annuities products.
A district court in Minnesota certified a class of over 400,000 purchasers of certain Allianz annuities since the year 2000. Among the annuities in question are BonusMaxxx, BonusMaxxx Elite, BonusDex, BonusDex Elite, 10% Bonus PowerDex Elite, MasterDex 10, and the InfiDex 10. The plaintiffs’ complaint alleged that Allianz fraudulently marketed these and other annuity products as providing an “up-front” or “immediate” bonus, when the bonus was in fact not fully available until years after the products were purchased. The suit alleged that Allianz violated Minnesota consumer protection laws by enticing prospective and existing policy holders to purchase two-tiered equity-index annuities by falsely advertising that the “up-front” bonuses would overcome any investment losses, surrender penalties, and income taxes incurred on any previous investments. Many of these promises regarding up front bonuses were allegedly printed in Allianz marketing materials. The case went to trial and Allianz prevailed at trial.
In 2006, a California district court has recently certified a separate class action consisting of over 200,000 California seniors. This lawsuit alleges that Allianz sold deferred annuities to elderly class members through a standardized sales program premised upon three alleged misrepresentations: that Allianz’s annuities carried “no sales charges,” offered an “immediate” up-front bonus, and would pay “full value” if certain deferral requirements were met. The plaintiffs allege that these three misleading statements were contained in sales brochures provided to prospective clients by Allianz agents. According to the complaint, these descriptions were false and misleading, since Allianz paid hefty commissions to its sales agents that were allegedly recouped from consumers by lowering the yield of the consumers’ annuities. Plaintiffs also claim that they could not receive the “full value” of their annuity, as marketed, unless it remained in deferral for at least five years, with payout taken over at least ten years.
The California plaintiffs filed their claims for relief based on the Rackateer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO); elder abuse under the California Welfare & Institutions Code; unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices under California’s Unfair Competition Law; false advertising under California’s False Advertising Law; breach of fiduciary duty; and unjust enrichment.
If you or a loved one has purchased a deferred annuity from Allianz, please contact The Evans Law Firm today for a free and confidential evaluation of your rights. We can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at (888) 503-8267 or (415) 441-8669.