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Allianz Life Insurance Co. Class Action Lawsuit
Allianz Life Insurance Deferred Annuity Elder Abuse
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America faces lawsuits alleging that Allianz improperly marketed and sold deferred annuities to seniors. Allianz Life Insurance Company has faced multiple lawsuits regarding its deferred annuities and has settled some of those lawsuits. The company sells fixed and variable annuities, life insurance policies and long term care insurance products.
Allianz Life Insurance Deferred Annuities
Allianz Life Insurance Company faced at least seven lawsuits regarding how the company marketed and sold deferred annuities to seniors. Plaintiffs have argued that Allianz targeted seniors when marketing annuities, even though the annuities were not suitable for many senior citizens. Furthermore, they allege that agents were offered larger than normal commissions as incentives to make sales.
Lawsuits also allege that seniors were misled about the nature of annuities. Specifically, they say they were not told that the deferred annuities could tie up their money for up to 15 years, that cashing in their annuities early would result in a large penalty and that payments advertised as immediate bonuses were not payable for up to 15 years.
One such lawsuit was filed by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson. Swanson’s lawsuit alleged that Allianz agents, “lured seniors to attend ‘estate planning’ or ‘wealth management’ seminars,” but that the real purpose of the seminars was to sell annuities to the seniors.
“Allianz and its agents aggressively marketed deferred annuities to seniors without regard to the suitability of the sale and without disclosing that seniors’ limited savings could be tied up for years,” Swanson said. According to Swanson’s lawsuit, since 2000, Allianz had sold over 4,900 deferred annuities to Minnesota seniors over the age of 70, totaling almost $260 million.
In 2007, Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America said it had settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of 60,000 investors who alleged the company misled them about certain annuities, according to an article in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune (October 3, 2007). The article noted that the insurer would offer investors payments based on how much money each individual investor had in an annuity on a certain date. Although Allianz did not estimate the cost of the lawsuit, the article estimates that it was in the tens of millions of dollars.
This settlement covered investors who purchased their annuities between December 1997 and October 2005 and were offered cash bonuses. Plaintiffs alleged that Allianz never actually paid out those cash bonuses.
Allianz has said that it did not intentionally mislead investors and the terms of its annuities are written in the sales documents.
Deferred annuities are insurance products that require a lump sum payment but do not pay out any money for a fixed term of years. Annuities provide purchasers with a monthly income for a future date, but are not usually appropriate for people over the age of 65 because their terms can be long. Essentially, the investor’s money is locked in the annuity for up to 15 years and withdrawing the money before that time expires can result in hefty penalties.
Allianz Insurance Legal Help
If you were sold an inappropriate annuity product from Allianz Life Insurance, please click here to fill in our form to send your claim to a lawyer who will evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
Last updated September 18 2009
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