Financial Answer Center
Conduct a careful evaluation before you invest in an annuity. Consider the anticipated investment performance of the annuity, the fees being charged, and the soundness of the insurance company that stands behind your annuity.
Evaluating the Company
The financial strength and investment philosophy of the company issuing the contract is critical to the safety of your annuity contract. Check out the insurance company carefully.
Stay with companies that get high safety ratings from at least two companies that monitor insurer's financial health. The major insurance rating organizations are A.M. Best, Moody's, Standard & Poor's, Duff & Phelps, and Weiss Research. The ratings are based on a company's claims-paying performance, the quality of its investments, and its ability to withstand economic downturns.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Theoretically, in most states, an insurance company could sell your annuity contract to a company that is less sound. This shouldn't happen without your knowledge and consent. Review your statements carefully. If you receive notice of a sale, contact the insurance company and withhold your consent until you check out the other company.