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Jan 23, 2022 by |

San Mateo County Financial Elder Abuse And Annuity Attorney: Asking the Right Questions About Deferred Annuities

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Understand How Deferred Annuities Work

Avoid Quick Decisions And High-Pressure Sales Tactics

Ask the Right Questions And Get A Second Opinion

An annuity is an insurance contract. An insurance company agrees to pay you income at regular intervals in return for an upfront premium payment; these annuity contracts are known as deferred annuities. Annuity carriers pay commissions as high as 10 percent to insurance agents when they sell deferred annuities.  Agents in turn target seniors with these sales; sometime the pitch may be to convince a senior consumer to invest all of his or her retirement savings into an annuity.  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.  High-pressure or deceptive 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).  Senior victims 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 San Mateo County, San Francisco or elsewhere in 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. 

Asking The Right Questions

Annuities are complex contracts and it is easy to 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, and always get a second opinion for a professional with nothing to gain from a sale.  If you gather all the right information and get a second opinion you may well decide that annuities are not for you.  At a minimum:

  • 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.
  • Even though you have a meeting with a producer, you have no obligation to buy anything. Be alert for deceptive sales practices, or a high-pressure sales pitch that urges you to make a decision immediately.
  • Avoid repeated or unsolicited contacts from particular groups or producers that make you feel pressured or uncomfortable.
  • Check with the California Department of Insurance to verify whether the company offering the annuity and the producer presenting the information are licensed in California, and whether there are any complaints about the company or producer’s practices.
  • Check the rating of the company’s finances through Standard & Poor’s, A.M. Best Co., Moody’s Investors Services, etc. Annuities are not insured by the government like CDs and other bank deposits. The promise to pay is only as good as the carrier’s word.
  • 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, illustrations, correspondence, notices, special offers and payment receipts.
  • If the agent ultimately sells you 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 60 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 Mateo County 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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"Contacted Ingrid on an elder financial abuse case - she was responsive, knowledgeable, and easy to work with. You can tell she is passionate about this area of law and has the experience to back it up. She is an excellent choice if you are looking for a results driven attorney and highly effective advocate."
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