What is a Structured Settlement?
Structured Settlements are an innovative method of compensating injury victims. Allowed by the US Congress since 1982, a structured settlement is:
- A completely voluntary agreement between the injured victim and the defendant.
- Under a structured settlement, an injured victim doesn't receive compensation for his or her injuries in one lump sum. They will receive a stream of tax-free payments tailored to meet future medical expenses and basic living needs.
- A structured settlement may be agreed to privately (for example, in a pre-trial settlement) or it may be required by a court order, which often happens in judgments involving minors and incapacitated adults.
American General is highly-rated by the rating agencies for financial strength and is part of Sun America Financial Group, one of the largest insurance companies in the world. We are an industry leader in structured settlements, not only are we one of the first companies to write structured settlements but we have written more premium than any other company. Our customer service area services more than 60,000 structured settlement annuitants annually.
The U.S. Congress has provided the opportunity for injury victims to receive guaranteed, periodic payments as part of their personal injury settlements. In recognition of the value of providing a stable income stream for injury victims, Congress has made structured settlement earnings tax-free. That’s right - tax-free. When you settle a portion of your personal injury claim with a structured settlement, you will have funded known expenses like rent and ongoing medical bills with dependable annuity payments.
Structured settlements have the support of attorneys, legislators, judges and disability advocates because they have seen first-hand what happens to injury victims whose financial security has eroded due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Structured settlements are viewed as a safety net to provide peace of mind to individuals for long-term financial security.
- A structured settlement allows the injured party to tailor payments over his or her life. They can be designed for virtually any need.
- You may set up monthly payments to mirror a paycheck or set up lump sums to payout in the future for known upcoming expenses like a child’s college payments or retirement.
- There is no need to meet periodically with an investment or tax advisor.
- Payments are determined during the settlement process. It gives peace of mind, security and confidence over the long term.
For more information on structured settlements, go to the National Structured Settlement Trade Association website (http://www.nssta.com/) or call one of our Agency Partners.
Products and Services
American General Life Company insurers are market leaders in writing structured settlement annuities and have been in the business for over a quarter century.
We have extensive expertise in many types of claims such as:
- Workers compensation
- Mass tort
- Environmental and personal injury
We offer competitive rates and set the industry standard for excellent service to injured victims and structured settlement brokers. American General issues policies under the following companies:
- American General Life (all states except NY)
- The United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York
American General insurers are market leaders in providing structured settlement annuities to victims of personal, physical injury or physical sickness. The income tax free periodic payments made under these annuities provide for future medical expenses and basic living needs, and can last for the lifetime of the injury victim and their family.
Structured settlements have drawn strong support from the federal government as well as plaintiff attorneys, state attorneys general, legislators, judges, disability advocates, and many others that have seen their power to protect injury victims from quickly dissipating or otherwise outliving their income, after which time they would most certainly turn to various forms of government or public assistance.
Additional information on structured settlements is available at www.nssta.com.
Are you interested in structuring your fees? Whether it is for your retirement, your child's college education or leaving a legacy to future generations, structuring your fees is not only smart but is permitted and secure.
Download our Brochure
Learn about Childs vs. Commissioner
Find out if structuring your fee makes sense for you. Contact your structured settlement consultant. Or see our list of endorsed Agency Partners.
American General offers to reinsure workers’ compensation claims where the insurer’s liability cannot otherwise be transferred via a Qualified Assignment under Internal Revenue Code Section 130, and where regulations allow such claim liabilities to otherwise be transferred to qualified reinsurers.
Our reinsurance contract allows the insurer relief from their workers’ compensation liability and from the administrative burden of managing the open case file and sending periodic payments.
We offer funding agreement contracts to facilitate the resolution of settlements that are not based on physical injury or physical sickness. Examples include property disputes, environmental cleanup, construction defect claims, liability policy buy-outs, and many other types of claims.
Funding agreements support guaranteed periodic payments and lump sums, but do not allow for mortality or morbidity contingencies.
Competitive pricing and the ability to adjust future payments upon the occurrence of anticipated events are two compelling reasons to consider the use of our funding agreement product to help resolve these often large and complex dispute settlements.
These forms and processes should be utilized by Annuitants located in the United States.
Address Change Form
All address changes must be received in writing and must include the signature of the person or persons receiving the payment, their legal representative or the owner. If a legal representative is signing on behalf of the person receiving the payment, a copy of the legal document showing the authorization must accompany the request. The form includes instructions and submission requirements.
To request a beneficiary change, complete, sign and submit this form. Once the completed form is received, the owner will be contacted for approval (if person completing is not the owner). After approval/disapproval by the owner is received, the requestor will receive a notification via mail.
To change your legal name due to a marriage, divorce, adoption, etc., a copy of the legal document that confirms your current legal name is required. This could be a marriage license, a divorce decree, adoption paperwork, driver's license or a copy of your new social security card.
Direct Deposit Form
Payments can be made directly to your bank by ACH Transfer. This eliminates any delay of delivery by the postal service. Payments by this method are transmitted to the bank the working day before the payment due date. The receiving bank determines when the funds are posted into your account.
NOTE: An ACH transfer is electronic; however, it is NOT considered a wire transfer and is normally handled in a different department within the bank.
To report the death of an annuitant, please contact us immediately. Contact Us.
Phone: 1-800-288-4088, ext. 8006
After notification of a death the payments on the annuity may be placed on "hold" while the policy is reviewed. If a payment was made to the annuitant after the date of death and the payments were only due while the annuitant was living the payment will need to be recovered.
If there are remaining payments to be made to the beneficiary or the estate (if there is no named beneficiary), American General will send additional forms to be completed and returned. When the completed forms are returned and processed the beneficiary or estate will receive a payment that includes any payments that were held and the beneficiary or estate will then continue to receive future payments as they become due.
An annuity contract certificate can be requested to verify the payments you are to receive from an annuity.
The agreement you or your legal representative entered into to receive future payments will provide you with specific and detailed information. American General was not a party to that agreement, however, we can provide you with an annuity contract certificate that will outline the payments that you will receive from the annuity. If you require a copy of your settlement agreement, you will need to contact one of the parties involved with the settlement, your attorney or the agent.
Note: The owner retains the policy. In lieu of ownership, we can provide an annuity contract certificate.
Paper Check Mailed to Home Address
Paper checks are mailed 5 days before the date the payment is due. If the mailing date falls on Saturday the payment is mailed on Friday. If the mailing date falls on Sunday, the payment is mailed on Monday. If you have recently moved, the postal service WILL forward the check if you placed a forwarding request with them, but they do require an additional 3 to 5 working days. If you did not place a forwarding address with the postal service, they should return the check to our office. If you have not moved recently and have not received your payment one week after the payment due date, you may request a stop payment.
Electronic Transfer of Payments to Your Financial Institute
- Payments can be sent electronically to your bank or financial institution which avoids any delay by the postal service.
- Payments that are being electronically transferred are sent the working day before the date the payment is due.
- If the payment date falls on a weekend the payment will be sent to your bank by Friday.
- If the due date falls on a banking holiday, the payment will be sent one working day earlier.
- If the payment is rejected by the receiving bank and we receive corrected account information, we can resend the payment. The process to re-send an electronic transfer generally requires three business days.
- Wire Transfers are not available for these annuities.
If you have not moved recently a stop payment on a paper check can be requested one week after the date the payment was due. If you have recently moved and placed a forwarding request with the postal service please allow an additional 3-5 working days before requesting a stop payment. The process to request a stop payment and to have a new check printed for mailing generally takes two working days.
If you have moved recently and have not advised us of the address change, please see the Change Address Request section for a form to submit. No changes will be made to the payment address without signed written instructions from the annuitant or their legal representative.