Sen. Dodd’s Annuity Protection Bill Clears Committee
SACRAMENTO – Legislation has advanced from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, in partnership with Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, that would add consumer protections for people investing in annuities, including many vulnerable seniors, to ensure they are not misled or steered into inappropriate products by unscrupulous insurance agents.
“This proposal is about doing what is right for people who can least afford to be ripped off,” Sen. Dodd said. “Annuities can be important investment tools but too often, there is incentive for abuse or exploitation. My bill prevents that by providing consumers new rights and enforceable standards that sales people must meet.”
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. 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 was approved in the Senate Insurance Committee Wednesday on a 4-0 vote. The bill is sponsored by 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 be based first and foremost on the consumers’ best interest and the facts of their individual insurance needs, financial situation and goals. I commend Sen. Dodd for authoring this commonsense 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.