by John Darer® CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
Horizon Capital Solutions, LLC of Coral Gables, Florida claims to offer its investors "Fixed Term Annuities" backed by structured settlements, yet the investments do not appear to be annuities at all. They appear to be transferred structured settlement payment rights.
According to Wikipedia, "in the U.S, annuity (insurance) may be issued only by life insurance companies". Implicit in that statement is a licensing requirement.
Section 626.112 (1)(a) of the Florida Statutes states " No person may be, act as, or advertise or hold himself or herself out to be an insurance agent, insurance adjuster, or customer representative unless he or she is currently licensed by the department and appointed by an appropriate appointing entity or person"
626.112 (2) "No agent or customer representative shall solicit or otherwise transact as agent or customer representative, or represent or hold himself or herself out to be an agent or customer representative as to, any kind or kinds of insurance as to which he or she is not then licensed and appointed".
626.112 (8) "No insurance agent, insurance agency, or other person licensed under the Insurance Code may pay any fee or other consideration to an unlicensed person other than an insurance agency for the referral of prospective purchasers to an insurance agent which is in any way dependent upon whether the referral results in the purchase of an insurance product".
A search this morning on the website of the Florida Department of Financial Services shows no license for Horizon Capital Solutions despite the fact that it is representing to the public that it is offering annuities to investors. Download Horizon Capital Florida Insurance License Look Up
The following terms appear on the Horizon Capital Solutions, LLC website at the time of this posting:
A tax-deferred contract that can provide an income for a specified time period, such as a number of years or for the life of the individual.
The guaranteed periodic payments that will be paid to the owner during the payout period.
The agreement between the customer and the insurance company that stipulates the features of the annuity and the responsibilities of each party.
The insurance company that issues the annuity.
The person or people who make decisions about an annuity. The owner or owners have the rights to make withdrawals, surrender or change the designated beneficiary or other terms of the contract.
The Bottom Line
Insurance regulators, starting with Alex Sink in Florida, and those members of Congress with an eye on financial services reform, ought to be doing a better job at monitoring and questioning how members of an unregulated industry are using insurance terms to describe what is not insurance.