Sen. Dodd Introduces Annuity/Life Insurance Consumer Protection Bill
SACRAMENTO – Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, announced legislation today in partnership with California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara that would add consumer protections for people investing in annuities and life insurance policies, including many vulnerable seniors, to ensure they are not misled or steered into inappropriate products by unscrupulous insurance agents.
“Annuities and life insurance can be important investment tools but too often, there is incentive for abuse or exploitation,” Sen. Dodd said. “That’s why I’m glad to partner with Commissioner Ricardo Lara on my latest consumer protection bill, which requires insurance agents to put the best interests of their clients first -- ahead of any sales incentives they might make. If they know an annuity or life insurance policy is a bad fit, they will not be able to sell it. My bill is about doing what’s right for people who can least afford to be ripped off.”
Senate Bill 263 is the latest consumer protection proposal from Sen. Dodd. Earlier this year, he introduced SB 278, which would hold financial institutions accountable for defrauding seniors. Also this year, he introduced SB 478, which would outlaw hidden fees in an array of transactions, including banking.
In his continuing effort to protect our state’s most vulnerable, Sen. Dodd introduced SB 263, which would require insurance producers and insurance companies to strengthen suitability standards for the sale of annuities and life insurance policies. The bill would ensure California meets federal and national model standards, while providing additional consumer protections. The goal is to prevent the sale of these financial products to people who do not understand them or would not benefit from them.
SB 263 is eligible to be heard in committee for its first vote later this month. The bill is sponsored by Insurance Commissioner Lara and supported by consumer advocates.
“Consumers’ best interests must always come ahead of insurance company sales,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who is sponsoring SB 263. “SB 263 will protect consumers, especially vulnerable populations like our seniors, by requiring all sales of annuities and life insurance policies be based first and foremost on the facts of their individual insurance needs, financial situation and goals. I commend Sen. Dodd for authoring this common-sense consumer protection bill.”
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.