Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America has launched Allianz Index Advantage, an indexed variable annuity (IVA) that combines Allianz Life’s fixed-index annuities presence with traditional variable options. Less than a month ago, Allianz Life also expanded its fixed index annuity lineup.

Allianz says this new product may fit consumers who are willing to trade some potential gains from market growth in exchange for a level of protection from down markets. The Index Advantage product provides opportunity for benefits to be protected every year. Compared to fixed index annuities (FIAs), the IVA increases the amount of return potential by having much higher limits (or caps) on the interest credit coming from the growth of an equity index in exchange for less protection.

IVAs offer protection from the first 10 percent of losses per year versus guarantees of no losses from a traditional FIA, says Allianz, although some IVAs will offer that option in exchange for less upside potential. This is a shift for accumulation choices among variable annuities.

Index Advantage, currently approved in 43 states, and in addition to tax deferral, Allianz indicates that the product includes built-in death benefit protection.

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