The California Department of Insurance has fined Annuity Services Insurance Center $15,000 for deceptive advertising practices targeting senior citizens in California, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said.
Beginning in August 2004, Investor’s Union LLC, doing business as Annuity Service Insurance Center, sent out at least 235,000 unsolicited mailers to California residents, CDI said. The notices stated that recipients, “… may have an annuity that has reached the end of its surrender period,” and told them to contact the Annuity Service Insurance Center. Those who responded were asked questions about their investments and assets. Those who qualified were then scheduled to meet with salespeople for an annuity/life insurance sales pitch.
The notices failed to disclose that Investor’s Union,LLC and the Annuity Service Insurance Center were not affiliated with the elderly recipient’s insurance company.
CDI determined that the $15,000 fine was in line with fines levied by other states. The Department also forced the company to surrender its license to do business in California for five years.
Delaware and Wisconsin imposed $15,000 fines and Iowa issued a civil penalty of $21,000 for similar deceptive practices by Investors Union LLC. Seven other states have issued cease and desist orders against the company.
For more information, visit www.insurance.ca.gov/0150-seniors.
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