MARKET CONDUCT EXAMINATION REPORT OF THE ANNUITY BUSINESS OF METLIFE INVESTORS USA INSURANCE COMPANY (NAIC #61050)

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MARKET CONDUCT EXAMINATION REPORT

OF THE

ANNUITY BUSINESS OF

METLIFE INVESTORS USA INSURANCE COMPANY

(NAIC #61050)

1095 Avenue of the Americas

New York, New York 10036-6796

Report Number MCLH-40-2012-E

Examination Period: December 1, 2011 through November 30, 2012

INSURANCE

ADMINISTRATION

STATE OF MARYLAND

MARYLAND INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION

THERESE M. GOLDSMITH, COMMISSIONER

APRIL 23, 2014

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MARE!N()MAuI Y IIIERFSI M GOIDSMIFH

Governor Corrnmss~on~r

ANTHONY 0. BROWN KAREN STAKEMHORNIG

Lt. Governor Deputy Commissioner

INSURANCE THOMAS L. MARSHALL

AI)MINISTRATION C~iance&E~bivement

200 St. Paul Place. Suite 2700, Baltimore,Maryland21202 Direct Dial: 410-468-2217 Fax; 410-468-2245

Email; thornas.inarshalli~maryland.gov 1-800-492-6116 TTY: 1-800-735-2258

www.rndinsurance.state md.us

April 23, 2014

The Honorable Therese M. Goldsmith Commissioner of Insurance

State of Maryland

200 St. Paul Place, Suite 2700 Baltimore, Maryland 21202 Dear Commissioner Goldsmith:

Pursuant to your instructions and authorization, an Examination has been made of the market conduct affairs of:

METLIFE INVESTORS USA INSURANCE COMPANY

whose home office is located at 1095 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10036-6796. The report of such Examination is being respectfully submitted.

Sincerely,

Thomas L. Mars~iall Associate Comn~issioner

Compliance & Enforcement

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

SECTION PAGE

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY I

II. SCOPE OF EXAMINATION 2

III. COMPANY PROFILE 3

IV. NEW ISSUES AND REPLACEMENTS 4

V. RECOMMENDATION 10

VI. CLOSING 11

VII. EXAMINATION REPORT SUBMISSION 12

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MARYLAND INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION APRIL 23, 2014

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Maryland Insurance Administration (hereinafter “Administration”) conducted a target Market Conduct Examination (hereinafter “Examination”) of MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company (hereinafter “Company”).

The purpose of the Examination was to assess the Company’s business

practices as they relate to Annuity Suitability and Annuity marketing practices to determine compliance with Maryland insurance laws and regulations. The period covered by the Examination was December 1, 2011 through November 30, 2012 (hereinafter “Examination period”).

A total of 323 randomly selected files were reviewed. A total of 17 violations were identified during the Examination period. The Company has been directed to modify certain policies and procedures to ensure future compliance.

The Examination identified various non-complaint practices, some of which may extend to other jurisdictions. The Company is directed to take immediate

corrective action to demonstrate its ability and intention to conduct business in Maryland according to the State’s insurance laws and regulations.

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II. SCOPE OF EXAMINATION

An Examination has been performed on the Company and a Report thereon is submitted as follows:

The Examination was conducted pursuant to

§~

2-205, 2-207, 2-208, and 2-209 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Insurance Article1 and 31.04.20 of the Code of Maryland Regulations (hereinafter “COMAR”). The Examination period was December 1, 2011 through November 30, 2012. The purpose of the Examination was to assess the Company’s compliance with Maryland insurance laws and regulations relating to Annuity Suitability plans.

All non-compliant practices may not have been discovered or noted in the Report. Failure to identify or criticize non-compliant business practices in Maryland or in other jurisdictions does not constitute acceptance of such practices. Examination findings and recommendations, if any, that do not reference specific insurance laws, regulations, or bulletins are presented to improve the Company’s business practices and ensure consumer protection. The examination and testing methodologies followed standards established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and procedures developed by the Administration. All sample files were selected by using ~acomputer

generated random sample program unless otherwise stated herein.

The Company was requested to provide the total population for each area listed in the chart below:

Annuity Suitability Advertisin9 744 100

Annuity Suitability New Issues 1358 112

Annuity Suitability Replacements 315 79

Annuity Suitability Denied contracts 9 9

Annuity Suitability Top 10 Producers 10 10

Annuity Suitability~~plaints-Administrative 6 6

Annuity Suitability complaints - Representative 7 7

Totals: 2449 323

Unless otherwise noted all statutory references are to the Annotated Code of Maryland,

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MARYLAND INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION APRIL 23, 2014

Ill. COMPANY PROFILE

Date Incorporated: 09/13/1960 Date Commenced: 03/10/1961 Domicile: DE

MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company (MLI-USA), a Delaware domiciled life insurance company, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut (“MICC”). MICC is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (the “Holding Company” or “MetLife”). The Company markets and administers traditional life, variable and universal life, variable and fixed annuity products. MLI-USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MetLife Insurance Company of Connecticut. The Company is licensed to do business in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The Company offers life insurance and annuities to individuals, as well as group insurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. The Company’s products include variable life products,

universal life products, traditional life products, including whole life and term life, individual disability insurance, variable and fixed annuities, mutual funds and a broad range of group insurance and retirement products and services2.

2A.M. Best Company “AMB Credit Report—Insurance Professional for “MetLife Investors USA

Insurance Company”, History,

http ://www3 .ambest.corn/ratings/ReportServer.asp?Report=84 11 &URatingld=2428 143 &AltSrc=9&ExtU ser=&Ext Misc=, copied for this report on 6/05/20 13.

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IV, NEW ISSUES AND REPLACEMENTS Issue 1: Violation of Section 12-206(c)(1)

The Company failed to obtain the applicant’s written consent for alterations on an application for an annuity contract.

Section 12-206 provides in pertinent part:

(c) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, an alteration of a written application for a life insurance or health insurance policy or annuity contract may not be made by a person other than the applicant without the applicant’s written consent.

FINDING I

The Company failed to obtain the applicant’s written consent.when issuing annuity contract amounts other than applied for. The Company is in violation of Section 1 2-206(c)(I).

Annuity Suitability Replacements

(SàthpIeSizo~ 315 79 Vibiati.6ri~ 2 .~ of Error 3 Exhibit A

The Company shall implement a process to ensure compliance with Maryland

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MARYLAND INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION APRIL 23, 2014

Issue 2: Violation of COMAR 31.04.14.03B

The Company failed to send a Guaranty Notice to annuitants which included the required lanquaqe,

COMAR 31.04.14 provides in pertinent part:

.03 Required Notice.

B. The notice required in §A of this regulation shall be in at least 12-point type and shall read as follows:

NOTICE OF PROTECTION PROVIDED BY MARYLAND LIFE AND HEALTH INSURANCE GUARANTY CORPORATION

This notice provides a brief summary of the Maryland Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Corporation (the Corporation) and the protection it provides for policyholders. This safety net was created under Maryland law, which determines who and what is covered and the amounts of coverage.

The Corporation is not a department or unit of the State of Maryland and the liabilities or debts of the Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Corporation are not liabilities or debts of the State of Maryland.

The Corporation was established to provide protection in the unlikely event that your life, annuity, or health insurance company becomes financially unable to meet its obligations and is taken over by its Insurance Department. If this should happen, the Corporation will typically arrange to continue coverage and pay claims, in accordance with Maryland law, with funding from assessments paid by other insurance companies.

The basic protections provided by the Corporation are: • Life Insurance

$300,000 in death benefits

$100,000 in cash surrender or withdrawal values • Health Insurance

$500,000 for basic hospital, medical, and surgical insurance or major medical insurance provided by health benefit plans

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$300,000 for long-term care insurance

$100,000 for a type of health insurance not listed above, including any net cash surrender and net cash withdrawal values under the types of health insurance listed above

• Annuities

$250,000 in the present value of annuity benefits, including net cash withdrawal values and net cash surrender values

With respect to each payee under a structured settlement annuity, or beneficiary of the payee, $250,000 in present value annuity benefits, in the aggregate, including any net cash surrender and net cash withdrawal values.

• The maximum amount of protection for each individual, regardless of the number of policies or contracts, is:

$300,000 in aggregate for all types of coverage listed above, with the exception of basic hospital, medical, and surgical insurance or major medical insurance

$500,000 in aggregate for basic hospital, medical, and surgical insurance or major medical insurance

NOTE: Certain policies and contracts may not be covered or fully covered. For example, coverage does not extend to any portion(s) of a policy or contract that the insurer does not guarantee, such as certain investment additions to the account value of a variable life insurance policy or a variable annuity contract. There are also

various residency requirements and other limitations under

Maryland law.

To learn more about the above protections, please visit the Corporation’s website at www.mdlifega.org, or contact:

Maryland Life and Health

Insurance Guaranty Corporation 9199 Reisterstown Road

P.O. Box 671—Suite 216C Owings Mills, Maryland 21117 410-998-3907

Or,

Maryland Insurance Administration

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MARYLAND INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION APRIL 23, 2014

Baltimore, Maryland.21202 1-800-492-6116, ext. 2170

Insurance companies and agents are not allowed by Maryland law to use the existence of the Corporation or its coverage to encourage you to purchase any form of insurance. When selecting an insurance company, you should not rely on Corporation coverage. If there is any inconsistency between this notice and Maryland law, then Maryland law will control.

FINDING 2

The Company failed to send a Guaranty Notice to annuitants which included the required language as stated in COMAR 31 .04.14.03B. The latest change to the Maryland Guaranty Notice became effective on October 1, 2012. The Company did not implement the change to its system until November 10, 2012. The

Company is in violation of COMAR 31.04.14.03B.

YArea Be~[eyt~èd~i:~ : ~pj.dation’~$apipfe Sjze VioIat~bs.%~f Error’ Exbibit Annuity Suitability New Issues 1358 112 4 4 B Annuity Suitability Replacements 315 79 6 8 B

The Company incorporated the new notice into its system to ensure compliance

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Issue 3: Violation of COMAR 31 .09.05.06A(2)

The Company failed to notify an existing insurer of a proposed replacement within five business days of receipt of the completed application indicatinu replacement.

COMAR 31.09.05 provides in pertinent part:

.06 Duties of Replacing Insurers that Use Insurance Producers. A. In General. If a replacement is involved in a transaction, the

replacing insurer shall: * * *

(2) Notify any other existing insurer that may be affected by the proposed replacement within 5 business days after:

(a) Receipt of a completed application indicating replacement; or

(b) A replacement is identified, if not indicated on the application;

FINDING 3

The Company failed to notify an existing insurer of the proposed replacement within five business days after receipt of a completed application indicating replacements. The Company is in violation of COMAR 31 .09.05.06A(2).

.~ Area Revie*ed’ I ~opu~atjón ~a~pI~$~Zé •Violations - WofError Ext~ibit

Annuity Suitability New Issues Annuity Suitability Replacements

1358 315 112 79 1 1 <1 1 0 D

The Company shall implement a process to ensure compliance with Maryland

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MARYLAND INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION APRIL 23, 2014

Issue 4: Violation of COMAR 31.04.20.050(2)

The Company failed to provide the information in the manner specified by the Commissioner in accordance with Maryland Law,

COMAR 31 .04.20 provides in pertinent part:

.05 Information.

D. Whenever a person receives a request from the Commissioner for information, the person shall provide the requested information:

(2) In the manner specified by the Commissioner.

FINDING 4

The Company failed to provide query responses by the due date and in some instances, by the extended due date. A list of the queries in violation is included in Exhibit D. As the Company failed to provide the requested information in the manner specified by the Commissioner, the Company is in violation of COMAR 31 .04.20.05D(2).

The Company shall implement a process to ensure compliance with Maryland insurance laws and regulations.

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V. RECOMMENDATION

It is recommended that the Company inform producers that they should only sign the application after the applicant has signed the application. The producer signature is necessary in order to verify that the information on the application is correct to the best of their knowledge. If the producer signs the application before the applicant completed the application, then it is not possible for the producer to be aware of the items completed on the application.

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MARYLAND INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION APRIL 23, 2014

VI. CLOSING

A total of 323 randomly selected files were reviewed. A total of 17 violations were identified during the Examination period. The Company has been directed to modify certain policies and procedures to ensure future compliance with Maryland insurance laws and regulations.

The violations include failing to obtain the applicant’s written consent on changes of annuity contract amounts other than applied for, failing to send a Guaranty Notice to the annuitant with the correct language, failing to notify an existing insurer of the proposed replacement within five business days after receipt of a completed application, and failing to provide the information in the manner specified by the Commissioner.

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VII. EXAMINATION REPORT SUBMISSION

The courtesy and cooperation extended by the officers and employees of the Company during the course of the Examination are hereby acknowledged.

Megan F(çvlason, Chief Life and Health Examiner Compliance & Enforcement Unit

In addition, the following individuals participated in this Examination and in the preparation of this Report:

Darshell N. Shepphard Senior Examiner

Life and Health Market Conduct Examiner Compliance & Enforcement Unit

Samantha L. Gross

Life and Health Market Conduct Examiner Compliance & Enforcement Unit

Kristen Walter

Market Conduct Associate Compliance & Enforcement Unit

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MARYLAND INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION APRIL 23, 2014

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IN THE MATTER OF THE ~BEFORE THE STATE OF MARYLAND

MARYLAND INSURANCE COMMISSIONER * INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

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COMPANY (NAIC #61060) * RY~NDU~~.;IRAI.IOI

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• .

PA~D

CONSENT ORDER

The Maryland Insurance Commissioner (‘Commissioner”) and MotLife Investors

USA Insurance Company (“Respondent”), pursuant to

§~

2-108, 2-204 ‘2-205 of the

- -- - - Insurance’ Article, Md: Code Ann~;’(the “lnsurance~ArtIcIe”);and any other’ applicable

sections, enter Into this Consent Order (“Order”) as follows:

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT AND FINDiNGS OF FACT

1. At all times relevant to this Order, Respondent has held and currently holds a certificate of authority from the Maryland Insurance Administration (“Administration”) to operate as an insurer,

2 The Administration conducted a Market Conduct Examination (“Examination”) of Respondent.

3. Respondent admits to the facts and accepts the Administration’s conclusions as stated in Examination Report number MCLH-40-2012-E (“Report”), but denies liability to any third party as a result of the violations noted In this Report. Both Respondent and the Administration agree to the conditions of the Order and the remedial’ measures set forth

herein. Respondent execytes this Order knowingly and voluntarily. The parties

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acknowledge that this Order Is In the public interest and desire to resolve this matter without further proceedings.

4. The Examination, the details of which are included In the Report is incorporated herein as if set forth in full, concluded that Respondent violated the following Maryland

• Laws and Regulations,

• §

12-206(o) of the Insurance Article, Annotated Code of Maryland • Section 31 .04.1403B of the Code of Maryland Regulations • Section 31 .09.05.06A(2) of the Code of Maryland Regulations • Section 31.04.20,050(2) of the Code of Maryland Regulations

WHEREFORE~pursuant to

§~

2-108 and 4-IIS(d)(1) of the Insurance Article, it is hereby ORDERED by the Commissioner and consented to by Respondent:

A. Respondent shall accept the Report as final and waives any right to a hearing on or for judicial review of the Report.

B. Respondent shall correct the violation(s) as noted in the Report within ninety

(90) days of the date this Order Is executed by the Insurance Commissioner or her designee. Respondent shall take such measures to ensure that the conditions that led to

these violations are addressed such that same violations do not, occur In the future.

Respondent shall set forth In a letter to the Commissioner that the violations have been corrected and that the measures have been taken to ensure that such violations do not occur in the future. Such letter shall be accompanied by a certification, signed by an officer of the Respondent, certifying that the information is true and accurate,

C, Respondent shall pay an administrative penalty to the State of Maryland for the violations stated herein in the amount of Three Thousand Five Hundred dollars

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-2-($3,500.00) contemporaneously with Respondent’s execution of this Order, Administrative penalties shall be made payable to the Maryland Insurance Mminlstration and shall identify the case by number or name, Unpaid penalties will be referred to the Central Collection Unit for collections,

D. The executed Order and payment of the administrative penalty shall be sent • to the attention of: Associate Commissioner, Compliance and Enforcement, 200 St. Paul

Place, Suite 2700, Baltimore, MD 21202,

E, Respondent agrees that no amounts paid pursuant to Paragraph C of this Order shall be included in or recoverable as expenses in any rate filing filed with the

Administration or any other regulatory authority.

F. For the purposes of the Administration and for any subsequent administrative or c~vllproceedings concerning Respondent, whether related or unrelated tothe foregoing paragraphs, and with regard to requests for information about the Respondent made under the Maryland Public Information Act, or properly made by governmental agencies, this Order will be kept and maintained in the regular course of business by the Administration. For the purposes of the business of the Administration, the records and publications of the Administration will reflect this Order,

G. The parties agree that this Order resolves all matters relating to’ the Report only, and the factual assertions and agreements contained herein are to be used solely for

th~purposes of this proceeding brought by or on behalf of the Administration, Nothing

herein shall be deemed a waiver of the Commissioner’s right to proceed in an administrative action or civil action for violations not specifically identified in ‘this Order, including, but not limited to, specific consumer complaints received by the Administration,

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-3-nor shall anything herein be deemed a waiver of the right of the Respondent to contest other proceedings b,y the Administration, Additionally, Respondent understands and agrees that this Order addresses and resolves only the administrative actions by the Compliance and Enforcement Section of the Administration relating to the Report. This • Order shall not be construed to resolve or preclude any potential or ‘pending civil,

• administrative, or criminal action or prosecution, by any other person, entity or governmental authority, including, but not limited to, the Insurance Fraud Division of the Administration, regarding any conduct by the Respondent.inoludlng the conduct that is the subject of this Order.

H. Respondent has had the opportunity to have this Order reviewed by legal counsel of Its choosing, and Is aware Of the benefits gained and obligations incurred by the execution of the Order, Respondent waives any and all rights to any hearing or judicial review of this Order to which it would otherwise be entitled under the Insurance Article with respect to any of the determinations made or actions ordered by this Order.

I. This Order contains the entire agreement between the parties relating to the administrative actions addressed herein, This Order supersedes any and all earlier • agreements or negotiations, whether oral or written, All time frames set forth In this Order

may be amended or modified only by subsequent written agreement of the parties.

J. On behalf of Respondent, the undersigned representative of Respondent affirms that he or she has taken all necessary steps to obtain the authority to bind Respondent to the obligations stated heroin and does in fact have the authority to bind Respondent to the obligations stated heroin,

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“4-K. This Order shall be effective upon signing by the Commissioner or her designee, and is a Final Order of’the Commissioner under

§

2-204 of the Insurance Article. L. Failure to comply with the terms of this Order may subject Respondent to further legal and/or administrative action.

It Is so ORDERED, this day of

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THERESE M. GOLDSMITH INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

By: Thomas L. Marsh II Associate Commis loner

- -‘-‘ . --- - - ‘ . ‘‘ ‘ ‘ ““ - ‘ Compliance&Enforcomont’ ‘‘‘~‘

RESPONDENT’S CONSENT

RESPONDENT hereby CONSENTS to the representations made in, and to the terms of, theabove Consent, Order,.The undersigned hereby represents that h~or she has

the authority” to bind MetLife Investors USA Insurance Company to the terms of this Consent Order resolving Report number MCLH-40-2012-E.

Date: ~_c~ (~~4•

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