When you are considering the different annuity providers, you should understand that they are all similar companies. Annuities are only sold by insurance companies, so the vast majority of annuity products are sold by major insurance companies in America.There are four different kinds of annuities that are typically sold. They are immediate annuities, deferred annuities, fixed annuities and variable annuities.However, each one can be customized with a variety of options, resulting in thousands of effective possibilities.
Sometimes There is a Middle Man
While there is a requirement that all annuities be issued by insurance companies, they are sometimes sold to the public through a middle man. These include annuity distributors, which are sometimes referred to as wirehouses. There are also independent brokers, banks, and independent agents involved in the sale of annuities.When you buy an annuity from one of those distributors, they will typically be your point of contact throughout managing the annuity.
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When you buy an annuity, it is not guaranteed by the federal government like your savings or checking accounts at the bank are through the FDIC. Instead,they are guaranteed by the issuing insurance company. As a result, it is very important that you look into the strength of the company that you are buying them from. The only way you can lose out is if the company goes under, so that is a key point of research. The following annuity providers get high ratings from various ratings companies.
This insurance company is one of the largest in the country, and they’ve been around for more than 80 years. They are based out of Illinois and they are publicly owned. They sell two types of annuities.
American Equity Investment Life Holding Company
This company primarily sells fixed rate products when it comes to annuities, and it is licensed in every state in the country. They sell annuities and focus their business model around safe returns.
American National Insurance Company
This insurance company has been in operation for well over 100 years, and it is based in Texas. It sells a lot of insurance policies and annuities and sells them through agents, marketing companies and distribution channels.
Fidelity Insurance Network
Fidelity buys the annuities from other issuers and then sells them to investors who are able to make a large initial payment of at least about $10,000.
Originally known as the Life Insurance Company of Virginia, Genworth Financial has been around for more than 140 years. It sells a variety of annuities in addition to other products including insurance policies and wealth management products and services. With such a long track record of success, Genworth Financial is considered a very stable company.
ING, which is best known as an Internet company, is officially known as the International Netherlands Group. It is a huge company with gross revenue in 2012 of more than $150 billion. ING provides buyers with fixed immediate annuities and indexed annuities, so there are a couple of primary options for customers.
John Hancock is one of the oldest companies around, tracing its routes back to 1862. Today John Hancock is part of Manulife Financial. It sells a large variety of financial products, including mutual funds, 401 (k) plans, insurance and annuities. Usually you will deal with a financial advisor when buying products from John Hancock, or part of its network of independent firms.
Lincoln Financial Group
This financial company based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, sells a large variety of financial services. Some of its offerings included fixed annuities,variable-indexed annuities, retirement plans and life insurance.
MetLife is perhaps best known for selling insurance policies, but it also offers annuities and has nearly 100 million customers. MetLife products are sold in more than 60 different countries, and the company is based in New York City,New York. It has been around for nearly 150 years.
Midland National Life Insurance Company
This company was originally known as the Dakota Mutual Life Insurance company, but it eventually changed its name. It has a high rating of A+ from Standard and Poor’s, and it has more than one million policies that it services. As a result, it can be considered a very reliable company.
Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha sells deferred annuities and immediate annuities, and celebrated its 100th anniversary just a few years ago in 2009.
New York Life
New York Life is in part known for its recognizable building of the same name in New York City, but it is one of the biggest life insurance companies on the planet. It holds the highest ratings from each of the four rating companies, which is a distinction shared by only three companies. As a result, New York Life is one of the best companies to buy from. It has been in business since 1845, giving it nearly 170 years of experience. New York Life offers annuities, insurance, mutual funds and more.
Prudential sells variable annuities and is based just outside of New York in Newark, New Jersey. Prudential was founded in 1876, and the company is known as a stable provider of annuities.