Whether measured by premium income or by assets, traditional life insurance is no longer the primary business of many companies in the life/health insurance industry. Today, the emphasis has shifted to the underwriting of annuities. Annuities are contracts that accumulate funds and/or pay out a fixed or variable income stream. An income stream can be for a set period of time or over the lifetimes of the contract holder or his or her beneficiaries.
Executive summary of a paper on Equity-Indexed Annuities (EIAs), also known as Indexed Annuities and (more recently) Fixed Indexed Annuities. This paper addresses key EIA product features, the current EIA marketplace, and issues and criticisms surrounding EIAs.