Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty announced today that he is resigning effective May 2, 2016 after 12 years in the post to pursue other job opportunities, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR).
McCarty has served as the only appointed insurance commissioner for the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation since the office was created in 2003.
“The privilege of serving the people of Florida as Insurance Commissioner has been the highlight of my professional career,” McCarty stated. “I am proud of the tremendous accomplishments achieved during my tenure and am grateful to the outstanding and talented staff at the Office of Insurance Regulation who made them possible. It has been an honor to work with various Florida governors, cabinet members, legislators and industry stakeholders in meeting the many challenges faced by our state over the last 12 years.”
McCarty’s tenure has been a tumultuous yet productive one. Originally appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush, McCarty presided over the state’s sometimes volatile homeowners and auto insurance markets, a number of devastating hurricanes, and several financial and insurance-related crises.
Last year, he survived an ouster bid by current Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Gov. Rick Scott’s Communications Direct, Jackie Schutz, issued the following statement to Insurance Journal on the news:
“We appreciate his service to the state and we wish him the best of luck in his next endeavor.”
That doesn’t appear to be McCarty’s plan.
“I am looking forward to exploring new opportunities that will allow me to use the skills, knowledge and expertise I’ve gained as Insurance Commissioner. In the meantime, I will continue my service and provide whatever assistance is desired to facilitate a smooth transition,” he said in his statement.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who has worked closely with McCarty through the years, said McCarty has “long-served the people of Florida with the utmost integrity.”
“Throughout his years of service, he’s propelled and ushered in reforms across multiple facets of the industry including workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, health, and auto. He helped navigate consumers and the industry through the hardships and tumultuous effects of natural disaster, and his peers recognized his service and commitment by asking him to serve on a national level as president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. I thank him for his years of dedicated service and wish him the best in all future endeavors,” Atwater said in an e-mail.
In an interview last month, McCarty told Insurance Journal that his long tenure as Florida’s Insurance Commissioner has required him to “wear many hats” and he reflected on what he considers to be some of the state’s accomplishments in recent years.
“Florida, in many ways, has been a challenging place to be. There was no blueprint to look to because Florida was often the pioneer in [many] areas,” he said. “It’s been a privilege and an honor to serve as insurance commissioner. Again, I’m blessed with a very talented and dedicated staff who work tirelessly to serve the people of Florida.”
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Photo Credit: From left, insurance commissioner Kevin McCarty, CFO Jeff Atwater and Gov. Rick Scott.
(AP Photo/Steve Cannon)