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.
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:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org</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
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.