The Iowa Insurance Division is among 44 state insurance regulators that will benefit from a multistate settlement with Allianz Life Insurance Co.
that was announced today by the Florida Office of Insurance.
The settlement regards suitability issues involving the sale of two-tier fixed annuities, some of them equity indexed annuities. It requires corrective action by Allianz, a remediation plan and a $10 million penalty to be paid to the participating states.
Each state will get an average of $230,000 from the settlement. Lead states involved include Florida, Iowa, Minnesota and Missouri.
The states launched a probe after some consumers who purchased fixed annuities from 2001 to 2008 complained to Allianz regarding the annuities' suitability for their circumstances, or representations made by Allianz or its
agents during the sale of an annuity.
Under the remediation plan, Allianz will implement a review process addressing new and previously filed complaints by customers who purchased an eligible fixed annuity product between 2001 and 2008. The agreement allows consumers to have a re-review of their complaints based on criteria in the agreed order.
Sara Thurin Rollin, Allianz Life Insurance director of external communications, said that from her company's perspective, after a "thorough" regulatory review of Allianz Life's annuity records from 2001 to 2008, "there was not a particular theme to the market conduct exam," and "all aspects of our fixed annuity business practices were evaluated."
She added that Allianz "is pleased" that the final agreement "contains no allegations of wrongdoing, and requires only minor modifications to our business practices, many of which already go beyond what is required by state law."
She added, "Although we could have continued to dispute the penalty, we would have lost the opportunity to resolve the matter on a large-scale basis."