Regulators in a Northwestern state say consumers should look hard at insurance producers’ professional designations.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services says some investment advisors and insurance producers are calling themselves “senior specialists” without knowing much about issues of interest to the elderly.

Although some senior specialist organizations offer rigorous training programs focusing on topics of interest to the elderly, others simply teach producers how to market and sell products to seniors, Oregon regulators say.

In some case, “senior specialists steered investors toward equity-indexed annuities, which are complex insurance products with high commissions and long holding periods that make them unsuitable for many older investors,” Oregon regulators say.