• Report: #72877

Complaint Review: WRL Insurance - Annuities - Western Reserve Life Assurance Company

  • Submitted: Sun, November 23, 2003
  • Updated: Sat, November 21, 2009

  • Reported By:Denver Colorado
WRL Insurance - Annuities - Western Reserve Life Assurance Company
Administrative Office- P. O. Box 5068-Clearwater, Florida 33758 -- Home Office - Columbus, OH Clearwater, Florida U.S.A.

WRL Insurance - Annuities - Western Reserve Life Assurance Company When I cancelled my life insurance I had a cash value of 5,575.60 and charged me a 5,084.82 surrender charge - If that isn't a ripoff I don't know what is. Clearwater Florida

*General Comment: You don't know insurance either

*Consumer Comment: False Report

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: "Good" Agent got ripped off???

*Consumer Suggestion: Everything has a cost --- YOU DID'T PAY ATTENTION.

*UPDATE Employee: Product Knowledge is important

*Consumer Comment: Know the product

*Consumer Comment: Know the product

*Consumer Comment: Know the product

*Consumer Comment: Know the product

*Consumer Comment: What are you smoking Truth Defender?

*Consumer Comment: HEY WEE MAN, RELAX A BIT!!!

*Consumer Suggestion: Must work for APFinancial

*UPDATE Employee: KNOW YOUR PRODUCT!!!!

*Consumer Comment: Study, read and know your policy and agent

*Consumer Comment: Shame on you

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On 10/3/2001 I was an agent working with the WMS Securities and the life insurance product we were selling was WRL Assurance Co. of Ohio Life Insurance policies. Being a good agent I knew that I should also own a policy. So I canceled my existing policy and received back a surrender of 3,091.72. Well I decided to put it towards making me money on my new policy.

I stopped going to meetings since I was not cut out to sell life insurance and I never heard from my agent again. Not even when I canceled my policy.

Then a year ago when I cancelled my insurance and I still needed to get some life insurance for my husband and we decided to cancel my policy (which I was paying $300.00 in premiums) and get life insurance policies through a company that was offering life insurance at my husbands work.

When I cancelled my policy with WRL Assurance Co. of Ohio I received a check for the surrender value in the amount of $190.78 back from WRL and I nearly flipped out of my mind. The cash value of the policy was $5,575.60 and the surrender charge was $5,084.82. That is a difference of $490.78 and I only received $190.78. I have a copy of the check, so right there they cheated me out of $300.00 additional dollars. That doesn't even include the money ($3,476.00) I gave them to add to the my annuitites. That was not money that I paying towards my premiums that was supposed to be put towards my annuities. I said no way since I gave them MY money, money up front from the cancellation surrender refund of the life insurance that I originally had when I started up the policy and there is no way there were going to get to keep it if I have anything to say in the matter. I have been laid off of my job and I needed the money desperately, I am 53 and I can't find a job.

I sent them letters and got only excuses. I cc'd the Division of Insurance and they did not do anything to help me either. I want the money back that they ripped me off of!!!!! It was my money, it was not a premium I paid. It was a cash contribution to my fund that was supposed to grow and be my retirement investment for the future. Not part of the money I paid for the life insurance policy.

Instead I basically got nothing. I feel totaly cheated and my faith in insurance companies is gone. All of them are just big rip offs and all they do is take your money. They don't care about the consummer. All they care about is their bottom dollar.

If there is any companies that should be checked out by the government it should be the insurance industry.

Don't you agree!!!!!

Donna
Aurora, Colorado
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/23/2003 06:34 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/WRL-Insurance-Annuities-Western-Reserve-Life-Assurance-Company/Clearwater-Florida-33758/WRL-Insurance-Annuities-Western-Reserve-Life-Assurance-Company-When-I-cancelled-my-lif-72877. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

You don't know insurance either

AUTHOR: Ron - ()

WHOLE LIFE insurance has nonforfeture values. WRL sells Universal Life, Indexed Universal Life and Variable Universal life. These products DO have surrender charges that may for the first up to 15 years, take all or part of the cash value when the policy is cancelled. 

However, when the policy was delivered and accepted, the client was legally informed of these facts. The agent may not have specifically pointed it out, but by signing the contract the client accepted the terms of the contract. 

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#2 Consumer Comment

False Report

AUTHOR: consumer - ()

 I'm sure the website Rippoff Report has little knowledge of how insurance works so they did not detect this as a false report.  Someone should really be policing Rippoff Report.

State regulations regarding insurance has what is called "Non-forfeiture" options on all policies with a cash surrender value so exactly what the writer of this report claims is prevented from happening by State Law!!!   If it were even possible for such a thing to have happened and the State found out about it, you would have heard about it on the local and national news.  Sheez!  Some people will fall for anything! 

Obviously, this completely ridiculous false report was made by a competing insurance company aimed towards uneducated consumers in an attempt to try to give Western Reserve Life and World Financial Group a bad name in the consumer world.  When you are #1 worldwide in the insurance business there are bound to be jealous haters.  lol

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#3 REBUTTAL Owner of company

"Good" Agent got ripped off???

AUTHOR: consumer - ()

 Obviously, this report is false cause it certainly could not have been made by a "good agent" as she claims to be or she would have known that there is always a 3 year waiting period when taking out a policy before any cash values begin to accumlate.   Anybody who knows the least about how insurance polies work knows this!    To think someone would decide to demand cash surrender after being told they would they would only get $190.78 out of the nearly $5000 she put ito the policy is ridiculous???   Does the person writing this ficticious report think people are not smart enough to know the claim is unbelievable?   Obviously, this report was written by someone from a competing insurance comapny trying to make Western Reserve Life look bad to scare people away from Western Reserve Life and World Financial Group.  When companies as these have been #1 in the insurance business there are sure to be some sour grapes, but this claim in beyond ridiculous.

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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Everything has a cost --- YOU DID'T PAY ATTENTION.

AUTHOR: Helpful Hanna - (USA)

Donna,


Insurance companies are more heavily regulated than banks ... and certainly more heavily regulated than the stock market or the SEC or the mortgage industry for sure. 


102 banks have failed  so far and the SEC ignored the Madoff situation that was early-on reported to them, until he bilked billions from people.  But how many insurance companies have failed?  ONE --- AIG failed because they didn't pay attention to their investments in real estate, that's why.  They are so big the government can't afford to let them fail because it would have a serious rippling effect on the rest of the already weak economy.


And you, my dear, definitely didn't pay attention to the contract you signed with WRL.  I'll bet you didn't!   EVERYTHING has a cost, darlin', and your cost was due to the fact that you didn't PAY attention to your contract terms.


Even though you claim you worked as an agent for a Broker/Dealer and sold life insurance, you obviously didn't pay attention in licensing class nor to your CE classes, did you?  Every insurance policy (life, automobile, annuity) has contract terms that if violated usually causes the owner of that policy to LOSE money.


You cancelled your policy?   WHY for God's sake if it would bankrupt your policy and eat up ALL your money?   That was your first mistake.   Cancellation of insurance policies ALWAYS have penalities and surrender charges when the conditions of the contract (policy) are violated.   You probably could have loaned yourself money from it tax free!


You need to learn HOW money works, for goodness sake. 


Furthermore, what kind of agent are you when you blatently state that the original money you gave WRL was NOT a premium? There's ALWAYS an initial premium that is dictated by the insurance company no matter WHERE it comes from. 


Furthermore, if the agent that sold you the WRL policy didn't call you when you cancelled, why (for God's sake) not take personal responsibility for your own self and call him/her?  Geezzz ...   If your money is so important to you, why weren't YOU paying attention to it, huh?  Shame on YOU! 


Stop your belly aching, pick yourself up, wipe your tears (anyone would cry in your situation...me included) and move on the BEST you can.   Life DOES go on.   (Been there)


You said in your report that the Div. of Insurance wouldn't help you either.  Well, darlin', I surmise (probably correctly) that THEY wouldn't help you because their research revealed that YOU broke the insurance contract with WRL ... not the other way around.   The  DOI doesn't like even one little bit any insurance company that rips people off


I am so very, very sorry that you were hurt and especially sorry that you have lost your job.  That's awful ... but ... honey bunny, YOU HURT YOURSELF by breaking your insurance contract.  BE MAD AT YOURSELF! 


As I revealed above, I've been there and done that to the tune of $7000, and believe me I'm NOT so financially well off that it didn't hurt me a lot.  So from here on,  PLEASE pay attention and focus on issues BEFORE you are so impulsive.  There's always a way to survive and you will, too.


Everything has a cost ... even if it is only sacrificed alternatives.  YOUR cost from now on is "paying" attention to the fine print and FOCUSing on your strengths and NOT on your anger.   Hugs!

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#5 UPDATE Employee

Product Knowledge is important

AUTHOR: Oliver Boody - (USA)

I feel sorry for this person in her end results. She is unemployed, thinking she had some money available and she was disappointed when her long-term program could not provide short-term relief. However, most states require agents to complete a course on insurance products before they can become eligible to take their insurance licensing exam.  In addition, WRL offers webinars, audio and classroom style training for agents offering their products.

Every product has a proposal, a prospectus, and a product summary. Even disregarding the fact that this person was an insurance agent, every life insurance policy has a "free-look" period where they can review and accept the product and it's surrender charges.  If she was diligent with her financial product, and she did not like the withdrawal/cancelation terms, she could have received ALL of her initial premiums and deposits.

Several forms in the application packet ask suitability questions that ask for signatures.  She had ample opportunity to stop the process before any funds were spent.

Her complaint should be addressed towards her own lack of regard for the financial product and terms she agreed to purchase.  The insurance industry is well regulated.  Applications have become longer and longer because companies want to disclose all issues needed to create an informed consumer.

Summary:  Know what product you need, know how that product provides those benefits, know what surrender charges are and how they are applied.

I would also hope that this woman would have called WRL to talk with Customer Service to have them investigate and provide an explanation for any discrepancies in her account. 

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#6 Consumer Comment

Know the product

AUTHOR: Tiger Fan - (U.S.A.)

Donna,

I read your post regarding Western Reserve Life Insurance Company. Please note that I do not work for WRL. I think they are a crappy company with substandard products. I am in the industry though and after reading your post, I had to respond.

First of all, you being the insurance business should have known the difference between Account Value and Cash Surrender Value. If you had been in the business as you claim, you would have known that the surrender charges on these types of products is 15 years. How could you have been in the business yourself and not have known that? You essentially were out there trying to sell a product to others, yet you didn't even know the product yourself...shame on you!!!

Second, this was either a variable life, universal life or whole life product. These products are not designed for everyone. Term insurance is suitable for some people. The permanent products such as those listed above are long-term strategies...not two years or less. Again, this is knowledge of the product.

Please don't try to place blame on an insurance company for something YOU SOLD TO YOURSELF!! Another agent didn't scam you into buying something....you were the agent and you were the customer.

Lastly, your policy was transferred to another agent when you left the company. He or she probably knew you as you may have worked together. He or she doesn't receive any commissions on servicing your policy...that was paid to you when you bought the policy from yourself. You act all irrated when you never heard from your agent. Why did this bother you so much? You were going to cancel the policy you sold yourself anyway....what good would it have done?

I am sorry to hear about finances being tough...I truly am. But to try and place blame on someone else or an insurance company that you worked for is complete non-sense. That is why the insurance department in your state didn't do anything b/c they knew you were in the wrong.

I hope that you've moved on and have gotten out of the Bitter Barn.

Sincerely,
Insurance Agent
Atlanta, GA
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#7 Consumer Comment

Know the product

AUTHOR: Tiger Fan - (U.S.A.)

Donna,

I read your post regarding Western Reserve Life Insurance Company. Please note that I do not work for WRL. I think they are a crappy company with substandard products. I am in the industry though and after reading your post, I had to respond.

First of all, you being the insurance business should have known the difference between Account Value and Cash Surrender Value. If you had been in the business as you claim, you would have known that the surrender charges on these types of products is 15 years. How could you have been in the business yourself and not have known that? You essentially were out there trying to sell a product to others, yet you didn't even know the product yourself...shame on you!!!

Second, this was either a variable life, universal life or whole life product. These products are not designed for everyone. Term insurance is suitable for some people. The permanent products such as those listed above are long-term strategies...not two years or less. Again, this is knowledge of the product.

Please don't try to place blame on an insurance company for something YOU SOLD TO YOURSELF!! Another agent didn't scam you into buying something....you were the agent and you were the customer.

Lastly, your policy was transferred to another agent when you left the company. He or she probably knew you as you may have worked together. He or she doesn't receive any commissions on servicing your policy...that was paid to you when you bought the policy from yourself. You act all irrated when you never heard from your agent. Why did this bother you so much? You were going to cancel the policy you sold yourself anyway....what good would it have done?

I am sorry to hear about finances being tough...I truly am. But to try and place blame on someone else or an insurance company that you worked for is complete non-sense. That is why the insurance department in your state didn't do anything b/c they knew you were in the wrong.

I hope that you've moved on and have gotten out of the Bitter Barn.

Sincerely,
Insurance Agent
Atlanta, GA
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#8 Consumer Comment

Know the product

AUTHOR: Tiger Fan - (U.S.A.)

Donna,

I read your post regarding Western Reserve Life Insurance Company. Please note that I do not work for WRL. I think they are a crappy company with substandard products. I am in the industry though and after reading your post, I had to respond.

First of all, you being the insurance business should have known the difference between Account Value and Cash Surrender Value. If you had been in the business as you claim, you would have known that the surrender charges on these types of products is 15 years. How could you have been in the business yourself and not have known that? You essentially were out there trying to sell a product to others, yet you didn't even know the product yourself...shame on you!!!

Second, this was either a variable life, universal life or whole life product. These products are not designed for everyone. Term insurance is suitable for some people. The permanent products such as those listed above are long-term strategies...not two years or less. Again, this is knowledge of the product.

Please don't try to place blame on an insurance company for something YOU SOLD TO YOURSELF!! Another agent didn't scam you into buying something....you were the agent and you were the customer.

Lastly, your policy was transferred to another agent when you left the company. He or she probably knew you as you may have worked together. He or she doesn't receive any commissions on servicing your policy...that was paid to you when you bought the policy from yourself. You act all irrated when you never heard from your agent. Why did this bother you so much? You were going to cancel the policy you sold yourself anyway....what good would it have done?

I am sorry to hear about finances being tough...I truly am. But to try and place blame on someone else or an insurance company that you worked for is complete non-sense. That is why the insurance department in your state didn't do anything b/c they knew you were in the wrong.

I hope that you've moved on and have gotten out of the Bitter Barn.

Sincerely,
Insurance Agent
Atlanta, GA
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#9 Consumer Comment

Know the product

AUTHOR: Tiger Fan - (U.S.A.)

Donna,

I read your post regarding Western Reserve Life Insurance Company. Please note that I do not work for WRL. I think they are a crappy company with substandard products. I am in the industry though and after reading your post, I had to respond.

First of all, you being the insurance business should have known the difference between Account Value and Cash Surrender Value. If you had been in the business as you claim, you would have known that the surrender charges on these types of products is 15 years. How could you have been in the business yourself and not have known that? You essentially were out there trying to sell a product to others, yet you didn't even know the product yourself...shame on you!!!

Second, this was either a variable life, universal life or whole life product. These products are not designed for everyone. Term insurance is suitable for some people. The permanent products such as those listed above are long-term strategies...not two years or less. Again, this is knowledge of the product.

Please don't try to place blame on an insurance company for something YOU SOLD TO YOURSELF!! Another agent didn't scam you into buying something....you were the agent and you were the customer.

Lastly, your policy was transferred to another agent when you left the company. He or she probably knew you as you may have worked together. He or she doesn't receive any commissions on servicing your policy...that was paid to you when you bought the policy from yourself. You act all irrated when you never heard from your agent. Why did this bother you so much? You were going to cancel the policy you sold yourself anyway....what good would it have done?

I am sorry to hear about finances being tough...I truly am. But to try and place blame on someone else or an insurance company that you worked for is complete non-sense. That is why the insurance department in your state didn't do anything b/c they knew you were in the wrong.

I hope that you've moved on and have gotten out of the Bitter Barn.

Sincerely,
Insurance Agent
Atlanta, GA
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#10 Consumer Comment

What are you smoking Truth Defender?

AUTHOR: Wee Man - (U.S.A.)

I am not a 55 year old hotshot that thinks I know everything. In fact, I own a VUL and am licensed. I was once an agent but it was not for me. So yes, I do know what it takes to be licensed in thsi field. I'm sorry you thought the exams were tough, but some people just don't test well. You must fall into that category or just don't understand what you're selling.
So it took 10 years for a VUL to grow 12%? Yikes! What is that, 1.2% of growth a year? My savings account earns more than that. Make sure you are putting facts on here that benefit you in some way instead of crap like this. I have a VUL and it has lost money, not gained. So much for your facts DB.

You don't know me so don't assume you know how much money I have. Based on your comments, I would have to assume you're trying to make yourself feel good because you're lacking a little something between the legs. maybe you should have my name.....Wee Man. It will probably fit you better.
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#11 Consumer Comment

HEY WEE MAN, RELAX A BIT!!!

AUTHOR: Mr. Thruth Defender - (U.S.A.)

It never ceases to amaze me that people like Mr. Wee Man probably will never see something that's good for them if it smacked them right between their eyes. All they ever see is that "these things" are an expense. They never see value in it, except when something tragic happens on which is now too late. Or perhaphs a failed agent to be? How can you know what kind of clients Courtney has? Did you know that suitability is different from one person to the next? Did you know that whoever owned a VUL in the last 10 years has seen growth of over 12%? Did you also know that certain Variable Annuities have a guarantee no loss to principal and that they can pay a certain stream of income that if you live too long (which is the main reason for annuities) you can actually beat the house (in other words, you used more money than your account value)? Of course you don't because you are not licensed and probably think you are a 55 year old hotshot who has seen everything short of a good day. You've no IDEA what it takes to be licensed in this field. If you thought your SAT's were hard, by comparison, the SAT's are first grade material.

My advice to you: Don't talk to undecisive people who can't keep a long term commitment live a VUL or VA and blame their misery on the agent that tried to help them because they became unfocused. Talk to those who know and understand these products are for their own good. You probably have less than $1,000 in the bank and have what I call a "Broke Mentality". And no, I don't work for AP Financial, so don't even try to rebuttal, Just read! HAVE A GOOD DAY!
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#12 Consumer Suggestion

Must work for APFinancial

AUTHOR: Wee Man - (U.S.A.)

I guarantee Courtney from TX works for a company called APFinancial. All they do is push the VUL and VA from WRL and tout it as the best. They do not care about suitability and must pay off their compliance officers to get these issued. The only thing the reps care about is making the sale, thats it. They just want to fill their pockets, and since the VUL offers the highest commission, that is all they are going to push. APFinancial must be stopped!!!!
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#13 UPDATE Employee

KNOW YOUR PRODUCT!!!!

AUTHOR: Courtney_alis - (U.S.A.)

Dear Donna,

First let me begin by saying that I am a registered representative and work as a financial professional for a financial firm. I use WRL products all the time and am a huge fan of the VUL and VA they offer! Secondly, I am sorry to find out that your company obviously did not train you well in product knowledge since you did not know anything about surrender charges (if you would of known something, the one thing you would have known was that surrender charges are extremely high the first 5 years and gradually decrease over the 15 year surrender period; you also would of known that surrender charges are based on age and gender)

What I'd like to do is explain to you is why your surrender charge was $5,084.82. You say that to initially start your policy you placed $3,091.72 (the money you recieved from your old life insurance policy) into your ANNUITIES...Hahaha thats pretty funny considering that annuities and life insurance have nothing to do with one another (FYI- Look up what an annuity is please). The money from your old insurance policy was placed into your separate account or cash value. Over the course of the year in which you had your policy, your cash value increased to $5,575.60...meaning that it increased by $2,483.88. However you say that you were paying $300/mo premium which equals $3600 for the entire year. If we calculate your cost of insurance ($840.64), the $5/month charge ($60 for the year) and Tier expense (6% of 300 = $18 x 12mo = $216.00), only $2,483.36 went into your Cash Value (Seperate Account) out of the $3600 you paid for the entire year. My question to you is what kind of agent are you to only have gained $0.52 for the year. What kind of funds did you place yourself in?

Surrender charges are based on age, gender, and the year you surrender your policy. You began your policy I believe at age 51. The surrender charge is multiplied per $1,000 of your death benefit and according to my calculations your Death Benefit was about $215,000. This means your surrender charge was 30.11 (at age 51, female and if you are a non-smoker). The surrender charge per $1,000 ($30.11) x the number of thousands of initial specified amount (215) x the surrender charge factor (0.79) = $5,084.82. So now Donna, now you can see that you were not ripped off. You simply did not read the WRL prospectus that came with your policy and the next time you decide to make an investment, please thoroughly know what you're getting into and do research. Thank you
Sincerely,
Courtney
San Antonio, TX
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#14 Consumer Comment

Study, read and know your policy and agent

AUTHOR: Yvonne - (U.S.A.)

My main comment is that I sincerely hope the woman who wrote this letter didn't actually sell any insurance policies to the public! My goodness, if you didn't understand the policy you sold yourself, I can only imagine the damage you may have done to your clients. You DO NOT purchase a universal life or variable universal life insurance contract for short term purposes. Even though you decided to leave the business (thank goodness), you had several options open to you. You could have suspended premiums, purchased a paid up policy, reduced the premiums, etc. You chose to not only cancel the policy, but you also purchased a policy without fully understanding your own business! Shame on nobody but yourself! I am not a fan of the company you chose to represent, however, I have been in the insurance industry for the past 15 years. I am a woman, in Utah, and I sell LOTS of universal life insurance. 15 years ago, the first thing I did was study, study, study. I made certain I understood exactly what I was talking to my clients about. With the changes in contracts, law, etc., I am still studying!

You made a mistake lady. It was YOUR mistake. I'm sorry you had to take such a hit financially, but DO NOT imply that our industry is anything less than honorable. I am certain had you passed away in the 2 years you held your policy, your family would have been most grateful.

I hope you find a profession that suits you better this time.

Good luck.
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#15 Consumer Comment

Shame on you

AUTHOR: Karen - (U.S.A.)

I can sympathize with this person to a degree, because I have a varible annuity with WRL as well. I am 47 years old, single and have had employement problems for the past 5 yrs. My annuity was also intended for retirement and in 6 years it has only gained about $500.

I am getting ready to meet with an investment specialist to try to recover and get on a better investment program. However, I haven't just jumped into surrendering the annuity without discussing possible ramifications.

Anyone with an insurance license, even someone new in the business, should be aware of surrender charges. Also, most insurance sales people are not experts in investments even though they may have the securities license to sell them. It also doesn't take much time around the industry to figure that out.

Although I am not happy with the return on my investment or my agent for not keeping me better informed, I cannot just be emotional about my losses, as this person appears to be.

The important thing is to look forward and minimize future loss. What's gone is gone, If you want to help others so this doesn't happen to them, give constructive advise on how to avoid the mistakes you need to take responsibility for.
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