B Rated Annuity Carrier Downgrade—No Longer Taking Apps

If you didn’t read my 2019 newsletter titled: Why You Shouldn’t Sell Annuities from B Rated Carriers, you can do so by clicking on the following link:


Upstream Life Insurance Company

On May 20, 2021, AM Best downgraded Upstream Life.

I just learned of this downgrade and I was told (after calling into their 833 number) that Upstream has temporarily stopped issuing new annuities AND is allowing refunds WITHOUT surrender charges (with credited gains from the fixed account).

The real question is why our industry trade rags didn’t make a big deal of this and why the IMOs that promoted this product didn’t put out a notice.

I specifically warned about Upstream

I don’t want to be an I-told-you-so, but I warned about Upstream in my 2020 newsletter titled: Highest MYGAs Rates IMOs Don’t Have Access to! To read this past newsletter, click on the following link: https://advisorshare.com/highest-mygas-rates-imos-dont-have-access-to

In that newsletter, I stated that “you’d have to have a screw loose” to sell this company’s products.

At the time of my newsletter, Upstream was offering a 5-Year MYGA rate of 3.45%. This was the highest in the industry and many IMOs were pushing it and many agents were selling it.

Egg on your facewhat’s a great way to have egg on your face with your clients? Sell a B rated carrier that ends up having financial issues. This isn’t good for you and, of course, it’s not good for the client.

I recommend you fight the urge to sell B rated carriers. While the rates may be slightly better than A- or better carriers and while the compensation may be a little higher, the risk of problems down the road isn’t worth it.