Unscrupulous Agents Earn Commissions On Unsuitable Products
Misrepresentations And High-Pressured Sales Tactics
Evans Law Firm Represents Financial Elder Abuse Victims
Financial elder abuse is the most common form of elder abuse in the United States; elder advocacy groups estimate that there are five million cases of financial elder exploitation every year. Sometime the financial elder abuse is outright theft of cash and other property by a caregiver or stranger but sometimes the financial elder abuse is more subtle such as when an insurance agent or financial advisor sells a senior an insurance product like a deferred annuity that they do not need and is unsuitable to their financial condition. California law protects seniors from this kind of exploitation and the San Mateo and California financial elder abuse and annuity attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. can represent you if you’re over 60 and 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 San Mateo County or throughout California. Call us today at 415-441-8669 (or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS) for a free review of your policy.
High-Pressure Sales Tactics
Often, insurance agents seize on older consumer anxiety about the economy, rising prices, volatile stock market and future needs to push various products like deferred annuities to provide “guaranteed” future income streams. An agent’s sales pitch may come at a “free lunch” seminar where the agent pressures seniors to make a quick decision on a policy. Do not allow yourself to be rushed into a decision on these complex insurance contracts. Beware of an agent’s promises about the contract’s return because the promises are likely to good to be true. Deferred annuities are complicated products that include recurring fees, limitations on returns, and penalties on withdrawals all of which operate to reduce actual returns and can spell economic disaster if a senior needs his or her money back for an emergency or because medical care expenses are much greater than were anticipated. Whenever you are approached to consider a deferred annuity consider the following:
- Contract surrender penalties can last anywhere from 5-15 years and be as high as 15% on money withdrawn. If you’re in your 70s when you’re sold a policy you may not be able to withdraw your money without penalty until you’re 90 or more..
- Insurance carriers cap returns at a rate lower than the true return on your chosen index, and also impose a “participation rate” that further limits your return.
- Administrative and subaccount fees are imposed annually and erode returns.
- Deferred annuities are not government insured like CDs and bank deposits.
Agent Acts May Constitute Financial Elder Abuse
California insurance law and elder laws both protect seniors from financial exploitation by insurance agents. When an insurance agent sells an unsuitable deferred annuity or other insurance product to a senior, that agent (and possibly the carrier which the agent represents) may violate both sets of laws. The insurance laws require very specific disclosures to seniors regarding surrender penalties and also require agents to follow certain steps throughout a transaction all designed to protect older consumers. Elder law prohibits the wrongful taking of any senior’s money or property and any violation of the insurance laws can in turn result in a wrongful taking in violation of the elder laws. The financial elder abuse and annuity litigators at Evans Law Firm understand these statutory protections for seniors and what kind of agent conduct violates those protections. Our attorneys pursue all available remedies for injured senior policyholders which include restitution (getting your money back), rescission (undoing an invalid contract), punitive damages, and awards of attorneys’ fees and expenses for bringing your case.
Ingrid M. Evans and the other San Mateo County annuity and financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm can help you if you have been sold an unsuitable annuity, or if 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 San Mateo 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:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.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
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
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.