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Sep 20, 2021 by |

Santa Cruz Financial Elder Abuse Attorney: Deferred Annuities Are Unsuitable Investments For Seniors

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Beware High-Pressure Sales Tactics

Beware High Surrender Charges

Beware Agents Urging You To Switch Annuities

Insurance companies may offer commissions as high as 10 percent to agents who sell products like long-term deferred annuities to senior citizens. In this environment, consumers should arm themselves with information to protect their interests. Evans Law Firm, Inc. recommends against deferred annuities, including fixed indexed annuities, for older consumers based on what we have seen in our litigation experience: sales commissions and annual fees on these policies are high; the return on your money rarely meets expectations (we have seen contracts produce zero returns even in strong markets); and, by penalizing you for any withdrawal, deferred annuities effectively tie up your money for years.  If you are over 60, and live in Napa, San Francisco or elsewhere in the Bay Area or anywhere 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. 

Here are some tips we ask you to keep in mind:

Beware High-pressure Sales Tactics and Seminars

Some unscrupulous sellers use high-pressure sales pitches, seminars, and telemarketing. Beware of agents who “cold call” you, contact you repeatedly, offer “limited time offers,” show up without an appointment, or won’t meet with you if your family is present. California law protects you against these questionable sales tactics.  See, e.g., Cal. Ins. Code §§ 785-789.10 and 10295.13.

Beware of High Surrender Charges

The most significant fee associated with annuities is often the surrender charge. This is the percentage that a consumer is charged if he or she withdraws funds within the surrender period of a policy, which can last up to 15 years!

Beware of Agents Urging You to Switch Annuities

Some sellers of annuities products urge customers to switch to another annuity, a practice called “churning.” Agents may not adequately disclose fees associated with switching investments, such as new surrender fees (which typically start over from the date the product is switched), significantly altered benefits, and tax consequences. California law also protects consumers from unsuitable exchanges.  See, for example, Cal. Ins Code §§ 10509.914.

Be on Guard Against “Bonuses”

Agents and insurance companies may offer bonuses to entice investors, such as additional interest points on their return. The benefits of such “bonuses” are often outweighed by increased fees and administrative costs to the investor. “Bonuses” may be simply marketing gimmicks.

Contact Us

If you are over 60 and live in Santa Cruz, 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 by email at <a href=”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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