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Nov 8, 2021 by |

Santa Clara County Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Deferred Annuities Not For Seniors

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

What Seniors Need To Know

Do Not Be Pushed Into An Annuity

Watch Out For Surrender Charges

If you are a senior, someone may offer to sell you an annuity. Agents may be aggressive in sales tactics and try to pressure you.  Do not allow yourself to be rushed into any transaction Annuities are complex and Evans Law Firm, Inc. recommends against deferred annuities for seniors.  We have seen older consumers lose money due to sales commissions, withdrawal (or surrender) penalties, fees, and returns on invested premiums considerably lower than advertised.  Sales and recommended surrenders and exchanges of deferred annuities to seniors may constitute financial elder abuse claims under Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 15610.30. Questionable sales tactics, like unannounced home visits, may also be illegal.  See, e.g., Cal. Ins. Code § 790 et seq. (Unfair Insurance Practices Act).  If you are over 60, and live in Santa Clara County or elsewhere in California and have experienced an economic loss as a result of the sale of an unsuitable annuity or other investment product, including 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. 

Rights When Agents Come To Your Home

An insurance agent cannot enter your home uninvited. Cal. Ins. Code § 789.10. And they must leave immediately if you ask them to.  When an agent comes to your home:

  • Agents must give you 24-hour written notice before they come to your home. 
  • When they first contact you, they must tell you why. For example, they should say they want to talk about insurance.
  • They should tell you the name of the insurance company they represent.
  • They should tell you the names and titles of everyone coming to your home.
  • Each person should give you a business card or other written identification with their name, business address, telephone number, and any insurance license numbers.
  • You can ask people to leave at any time.

The person who offers to sell you an annuity must give you honest and accurate information on the terms and rules of the annuity, as well as its costs and benefits. This is the law. Cal. Ins. Code § 785(a)(“All insurers, brokers, agents, and others engaged in the transaction of insurance owe a prospective insured who is 65 years of age or older, a duty of honesty, good faith, and fair dealing.”)

Watch Out For Surrender Charges

We recommend against deferred annuities for seniors because of the large sales commissions and fees but the greatest disadvantage for seniors probably lie in the surrender penalties you will pay if you need your money back.  When your money is tied up in an deferred annuity, if you need your money during the accumulation (also known as the surrender period of a deferred, you will have to pay a penalty called a surrender charge. The surrender charges can be high – in some contracts this charge may be as high as 15%.  After paying a surrender charge, you may end up with less money than you started with.  If you think you will need access to your money during the surrender period, do not get a deferred annuity.

Contact Us

If you are over 60 and live in Santa County, San Francisco or elsewhere in the Bay Area or throughout California and have lost money on a deferred annuity or indexed universal life insurance contact Ingrid M. Evans at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669 (or toll free at 1-888-50EVANS), or by email at <ahref=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>. Ingrid will pursue all remedies available to you against all parties responsible, including restitution (getting your money back), extra damages (to punish the fraudulent conduct) and awards of attorneys’ fees and costs to the senior forced to bring an action against the wrongdoers. 

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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