As of April 30, 2013, The Hartford stopped selling its annuity products. However, the company promised to honor its obligations and still continues operations as a life insurer. Annuity holders had opportunities in 2012 and in 2013 to void their contract for an inflated benefit. Although shoppers looking for new annuities cannot choose this company, people who did not turn over their contract may benefit from this review information.
This company has been in existence for well over 200 years. It began in 1810 as a fire insurance company and was a notable insurer in the 1860s for providing President Abraham Lincoln with a fire insurance policy. The company later grew and expanded into life insurance and other financial products in its second century of operation. Today, the company still maintains an overall positive reputation despite not being accredited with the Better Business Bureau.
Pros And Cons Of Hartford Annuities
The Hartford was most known for its variable annuities in recent years. However, the company provided a wide variety of other options. For those who need help finding information about an annuity or other policy serviced by Hartford, this list of resources is helpful.
Hartford Variable Annuities
The main advantage of a variable annuity is having a fixed future income with predictable sources. It only required one single investment to obtain an annuity when the company sold them. Also, it gave the buyer the opportunity to invest. However, there are still hefty penalties for early withdrawals. Although investments grow without tax, the amount is taxed when it is withdrawn. Additionally, this company’s variable annuities were known for high fees and and other expenses due to contract charges.
Hartford Fixed Annuities
Fixed annuities from The Hartford were known for their competitive interest rates at the time of purchase. The few annuities that still exist with this company remain mostly unaffected by market fluctuations. Also, account values may still be exempt from the hands of collectors in some states. However, surrender charges may last for several years with these products. No annuity is federally insured, and the tax-deferred growth will eventually be taxed when the final holders of these annuities withdraw their funds.
Complaints About Hartford Annuities
Since the company stopped selling annuities, one of the most common complaints from customers is the difficulty of filing claims. When calling customer service, several people reported long wait times or being disconnected. Many people reported being sent to a third-party agency, which was responsible for processing claims. Others reported not receiving their claims forms and information packets about the claims process from The Hartford upon request. Several consumers reported larger fees and taxes than expected when making early withdrawals or when they withdrew money after the allowable time period. The ratio of complaints to the number of insurance policies and annuities sold is about average for a company.
People who need information about withdrawing their money from their annuity should use the resource list provided earlier in this guide. For those who are shopping for new annuities and were hoping to work with The Hartford out of loyalty, it is best to contact The Hartford for recommendations. For those who simply want to find the right annuity, there are plenty of other companies offering choices to fit almost any budget and list of needs. In addition to researching the company’s reputation, always research the upfront fees, surrender fees and penalty fees before making a final decision.