Zurich offers to buy back your variable annuity, but how much will you receive?

Zurich American Life Insurance Company is offering to buy back your Farmers Variable Annuity, but how much are we talking? The company says it will buy your contract with an in-force GRIB Rider for the “Buy Back Amount” which will equal your contract value -- less any outstanding loans -- plus an enhancement amount.  According to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the enhancement amount is computed in accordance with the policyholder’s age. Take a look at this chart to see how much you’ll receive. Keep in mind, Zurich says the amount credited to you will be the greatest of Amount A, B or C. You will not incur a surrender charge if you take the Buy Back Offer. The offer will be available Jul. 3 through Oct. 31.

Zurich’s move isn’t new -- it’s an ongoing trend among major life insurance companies that want to get out of these types of deals due to the financial pressure they cause them. Life insurance companies made promises when these contracts came out, but then the market crashed in 2008. Now they are stuck in expensive contracts. But, if they can get policyholders to cash in now, they clear their books. That means annuity agents and policyholders can expect more buyback offers from companies hoping to do the same thing.