IID Leads Settlement with Allianz Life Insurance Company
Iowa and 42 other states sign on to regulatory agreement on insurer’s past practices
DES MOINES, AUGUST 27, 2012-The Iowa Insurance Division today announced that a multi-state settlement agreement has been reached between Allianz Life Insurance Company (Allianz) and 43 States. Iowa acted as the managing lead state in the settlement and was assisted by three other lead states: Minnesota, Missouri and Florida. An additional thirty-nine states have now signed on to the agreement. The agreement establishes corrective actions, a remediation plan and levies a ten million dollar penalty to be distributed among the participating states.
The settlement was a result of a review of company practices related to the sale of fixed annuities by Allianz between the years of 2001 and 2008. Regulators reviewed how Allianz and its insurance producers sold its products, how the products worked and how the products performed. This multi-state settlement is limited to fixed annuities issued from 2001 through 2008.
A corrective action plan will require the company to change the format of its policy annual reports, maintain current company training and monitoring of its agents, change some aspects of its complaint handling, and require conformity with some of the monitoring provisions of the National Association of Insurance Commissioner (NAIC) Replacement Model. The company is required to submit reports to the lead states to confirm its compliance with the agreement.
Allianz is also required to implement a remediation plan to review complaints previously filed by its customers who purchased a fixed annuity between 2001 and 2008. Under the plan, prior complaints will be evaluated according to the standards listed in the settlement. If a complaint is found to be justified, the consumer will be offered retroactive cancellation of their policy, with a full refund of premiums. Allianz will also accept new complaints from policyholders who purchased a fixed annuity between 2001 and 2008 and who have not yet submitted a complaint. The deadline for new complaints to be filed with the company is March 31, 2013.
The amount of the fine to be received by each of the participating states will vary based on the final number of the states who sign the agreement and the number of affected policies in each participating state. Iowa’s share is expected to be approximately $150,000.
“We’re very pleased to have reached this settlement,” said Iowa’s Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss. “This is a great example of several states jointly and collaboratively taking action to review a company. It will benefit the participating states; allow current customers an opportunity for a review of their individual cases and assure that the practices of the company are or will be in line with the standards established by state regulators.”
Iowans who purchased a fixed annuity from Allianz between 2001 and 2008 who have questions about this settlement or the process of filing a complaint can contact the Iowa Insurance Division at 877-955-1212.
About the Iowa Insurance Division
The Iowa Insurance Division (IID) has general control, supervision and direction over all insurance and securities business transacted in the state, and enforces Iowa’s insurance and securities laws and regulations. The IID investigates consumer complaints and prosecutes companies, agents and brokers engaging in unfair trade practices. Consumers with insurance or securities-related questions or complaints may contact the IID toll free at 877-955-1212 or visit the Division on the web at www.iid.state.ia.us.