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Feb 25, 2022 by |

San Francisco Financial Elder Abuse And Annuity Attorney: The Truth About Deferred Annuities and Seniors

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Annuities Are Complex, Long-Term Insurance Products

Expenses Add Up

Deceptive Sales Practices

Evans Law Firm, Inc. recommends against annuities for older consumers because they are expensive and complicated and because these contracts tie up a senior’s money for years. Contracts carry significant annual fees and impose surrender charges if you need your money back. Sales tactics can be deceptive and agents may fail to provide all the information you need to understand how a policy works.  A deferred annuity policy by its own terms may be unsuitable and the sales tactics illegal.  Deceptive sales tactics and the policies themselves 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. 

Complexity, Annual Expenses and Surrender Charges

Often deferred annuities run to 100 pages or more; sometimes closer to 150 pages with page after page of detailed actuarial tables.  Consumers can be overwhelmed with this detail and complexity; indeed the selling agents are likely not to understand all the intricacies of these polies.  Annual fees for administration, cost of insurance (so-called mortality rates) and rider fees can really add up and reduce any return on investment.  Worse yet, deferred annuities impose surrender charges if you need your money back. These surrender charges can be as high as 15% and may continue for ten years or more. In addition to the surrender charges, you may face a tax bill on the amount surrendered at ordinary income tax rates.   Surrenders also result in the loss of other policy benefits. 

Deceptive Sales Tactics

Insurance agents may use questionable sales tactics at free lunch seminars, and during home visits, or provide misleading advertising materials.  Watch for these red flags of dubious sales tactics:

  • 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 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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