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Who protects annuities if the insurer fails?
Old 09-15-2008, 09:42 AM   #1
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Who protects annuities if the insurer fails?

AIG sure has sold a lot of those things.


I've heard that most states limit recovery of annuities to 100k of present value.
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:45 AM   #2
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AIG sure has sold a lot of those things.


I've heard that most states limit recovery of annuities to 100k of present value.
That's pretty much it, THEY (the insurer) is on the hook to "guarantee" the funds.....
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Old 09-15-2008, 09:53 AM   #3
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So annuity buyers can get screwed twice?

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Old 09-15-2008, 09:56 AM   #4
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That's pretty much it, THEY (the insurer) is on the hook to "guarantee" the funds.....
You'd think that even AIG would lay off some annuity reinsurance.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:02 AM   #5
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You'd think that even AIG would lay off some annuity reinsurance.
I'm sure Lehmans would sell them some.

This is the little spoken of risk with annuities. Ultimately, you are a creditor of the insurance company. In some cases you "own" high fee mutual funds in a VA but not always. If they do fail, all of your "guarantees" to not lose money and all the other promises go away. Even your smiling annuity salesman goes away.

I'm sure as of 6 months ago no one would have even considered AIG would need to "restructure."

I've run across an occasional person that has lost money in an annuity. One guy had a $10,000 per year payout that was restarted after about 2 years of legal hassles at about $1,000 per year.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:03 AM   #6
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I read an article a few months ago about insurance companies not having the assets to cover the annuities if the market went south. From what I remember there is fine print in the contracts saying that you would only get a certain minimum, and therefore the "guarantees" aren't really guaranteed. I'll see if I can find it again.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:06 AM   #7
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You'd think that even AIG would lay off some annuity reinsurance.
Good thing Vanguard doesn't sell AIG annuities or anything.......
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:08 AM   #8
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I read an article a few months ago about insurance companies not having the assets to cover the annuities if the market went south. From what I remember there is fine print in the contracts saying that you would only get a certain minimum, and therefore the "guarantees" aren't really guaranteed. I'll see if I can find it again.
Some insurers have LARGE promises to keep (AIG and John Hancock) while others have much less (ING). 40% of John Hancock's revenue comes from VAs with living benefit guarantees........
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:25 AM   #9
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I read an article a few months ago about insurance companies not having the assets to cover the annuities if the market went south. From what I remember there is fine print in the contracts saying that you would only get a certain minimum, and therefore the "guarantees" aren't really guaranteed. I'll see if I can find it again.
years ago i was bought a whole life policy as a gift and it promised all kinds of nice payouts in the marketing literature. i read the small print and it said that nothing is written in stone
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:49 AM   #10
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I've heard that most states limit recovery of annuities to 100k of present value.
There are a few states that guarantee higher. DC covers $300K, Washington State $500K. I'm sure it would be a PITA to go through the claim process.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:54 AM   #11
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Gosh..... in all the zillions of posts I've read here concerning annuities, I've never really considered questioning the so-called "guarantee." AIG's current situation and the comments in this thread regarding insurance limits, etc., are an eye opener.

I'd considered putting some of my RE portfolio in an annuity since DW is not comfortable with financial matters but never got around to it. It's looking even less likely now......
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:58 AM   #12
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Where are all those annuity salesmen who once flocked to this board whenever the word "annuity" showed up in their Google alert? You'd think at least one or two of them would pay us a visit to reassure folks their "investment" was safe.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:01 AM   #13
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Where are all those annuity salesmen who once flocked to this board whenever the word "annuity" showed up in their Google alert? You'd think at least one or two of them would pay us a visit to reassure folks their "investment" was safe.
They will be along shortly.......
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:16 AM   #14
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Careful what you wish for - they'll be here bragging that their products paid a straight 4.6% interest rate the whole time the market was losing 20% annualized, housing was depreciating, and recession roared on.

(Maybe they won't tell you about the 4% when the market was doing 10%.)

Based on pure naivete, I suspect that if AIG or another big annuity writer was on the brink of default, you'd see a huge rescue effort by the insurance titans. They can't afford to let that happen - it would kill their new annuity sales in a heartbeat.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:19 AM   #15
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Careful what you wish for - they'll be here bragging that their products paid a straight 4.6% interest rate the whole time the market was losing 20% annualized, housing was depreciating, and recession roared on.


Quote:
(Maybe they won't tell you about the 4% when the market was doing 10%.)
Why would they?

Quote:
Based on pure naivete, I suspect that if AIG or another big annuity writer was on the brink of default, you'd see a huge rescue effort by the insurance titans. They can't afford to let that happen - it would kill their new annuity sales in a heartbeat.
No,I think the other insurers are cold-blooded and would have no problem seeing AIG fail. Then Prudential, ING, Hancock, Pacific Life, and others can swoop in an pick their bones.......
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:20 AM   #16
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Yes, where is Art G when you need him?

Oh wait, I put him on ignore. Never mind.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:22 AM   #17
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Careful what you wish for ...
I thought maybe you mods would appreciate a little change of pace from hosing down the Soapbox forum.

BTW, have any of you guys contacted Mike Rowe to see if he would be interested in doing a episode on you?
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:25 AM   #18
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No,I think the other insurers are cold-blooded and would have no problem seeing AIG fail. Then Prudential, ING, Hancock, Pacific Life, and others can swoop in an pick their bones.......
Who knows.

To me, knowing that thousands of SPIA owners lost 25% of their entire net worth would give me a ton of hesitation about buying such a product from anyone.

If they rescue, people might feel reassured that even in the worst of times, no one lost a nickel in SPIAs.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:29 AM   #19
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No,I think the other insurers are cold-blooded and would have no problem seeing AIG fail. Then Prudential, ING, Hancock, Pacific Life, and others can swoop in an pick their bones.......
I doubt they're in good enough shape to pick anyone's bones.

I do believe a highly publicized, highly visible failure would destroy the appeal of annuities for a few years.
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Old 09-15-2008, 11:33 AM   #20
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I head someplace this morning the Mr Warren B. is in "important" talks with AIG - maybe he is looking for a better deal than BAC got of MER?

Opps: Just saw this at MSN Money: "NY Gov. Paterson says state will effectively lend AIG $20 billion and urges Fed to step up as well. More soon." Wonder what the interest rate is?
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