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Life Settlement Firm Reacts To Florida Order

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A Minnesota company says it is surprised that Sunshine State insurance regulators have asked it to stop buying life insurance policies in their state.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation last week issued a cease-and-desist order to Great West Growth L.L.C., Minneapolis, in connection with allegations that Great West had been buying policies in Florida without holding a Florida viatical settlement provider license.

Great West was unable to respond to the order last week, but it now has issued a statement saying that it is committed to complying with the applicable rules and regulations of all the states in which it does business.

So far, Great West still has not received official notice about the order from Florida regulators, the company says.

“The order came as a complete surprise to us,” Great West President Russell Berman says in the statement. “Although we are not licensed to do business as a life settlement provider in Florida, we do act as a financing entity which acquires life insurance policies purchased by providers that are licensed in Florida. We have been advised that simply acting as a financing entity does not require a license.”

Great West, which is not affiliated with Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, Greenwood Village, Co., operates as a life settlement provider in 44 states and the District of Columbia, Great West says.

Great West also finances the acquisition of life insurance policies that are purchased by Florida-licensed providers, Great West says.