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Jul 13, 2022 by |

San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse And Annuity Attorney: Asking The Right Questions About Deferred Annuities

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Don’t Be Rushed By Aggressive Sales Tactics

Ask Important Questions And Review With Family First

Free-Look Period

Evans Law Firm, Inc. generally recommends against annuities for older consumers because they are expensive and complicated and because these contracts tie up a senior’s money for years. Deferred annuities impose significant surrender penalties if you need your money before the annuitization phase kicks in. Sales tactics can be aggressive and agents may try to rush a senior into a transaction or fail to provide all the information necessary to understand how a policy works.  The policy may be unsuitable and the sales tactics may constitute violations of insurance laws and elder protections. Cal. Weld. & Inst. Code § 15610.30 (definition of financial elder abuse); Cal. Ins. § 790 et seq. (Unfair Insurance Practices Act).  Senior victims may sue for damages and other relief including awards of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing your case.  Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15657.5.  If you are over 60, live in San Francisco or elsewhere in the Bay Area or throughout the State of California and own a deferred annuity, call us today at 415-441-8669 (or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS) for a free review of your policy. 

Asking The Right Questions

Annuities are complex contracts and it is easy to misunderstand or be misled about the benefits and risks if you do not carefully evaluate your purchase. Consider having a trusted family member or friend with you during the sales presentation.

  • Ask your producer, or the company for an explanation of anything you do not understand. Make sure that the person you talk to answers your questions to your satisfaction.
  • Ask for a complete listing of fees and commissions before agreeing to buy anything presented as an “investment product”. Understand contract restrictions, such as surrender penalties or administrative fees.
  • Once you think you know what kind of annuity you are interested in purchasing, compare similar products from several companies using the criteria presented above. Remember, even though you have a meeting with a producer, you have no obligation to buy anything.
  • Avoid repeated or unsolicited contacts from particular groups or producers that make you feel pressured or uncomfortable.
  • Check the rating of the company’s finances through Standard & Poor’s, A.M. Best Co., Moody’s Investors Services, etc. Annuities are not government-insured investments like bank deposits and CDs. The promise to pay is only as good as the insurer’s ability to do so.
  • Take notes about what the producer tells you and confirm that the information is in the materials promoting the annuity. Keep copies of all documents, correspondence, notices, special offers and payment receipts.
  • Ask for and read Disclosure Statements offered by the producer or the company and make sure you understand what the statements say about the annuity you are being sold.
  • If you purchase the annuity, read the contract as early as possible, compare the contract with your notes and understanding of how your annuity is intended to operate. If you are 65 or older, you will have a 30-day Free Look Period to review the annuity, and you can obtain a refund if you are not satisfied with the product and you cancel during this period.

Contact Us

If you are over 60 and live in San Francisco or elsewhere in the Bay Area or State of California and have a deferred annuity or universal life insurance contract, 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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