The Florida Cabinet has selected David Altmaier to be the state’s new insurance commissioner.
Altmaier, 34, is currently a deputy commissioner within the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. He will replace Kevin McCarty, who is stepping down after 13 years on the job.
Altmaier was one of three candidates, all OIR employees, interviewed at a special Cabinet meeting today.
He was selected after members of the Cabinet could not agree at previous meetings or at today’s on other candidates including Rep. Bill Hager; Jeffrey Bragg, a former federal insurance official; or Belinda Miller, who is OIR chief of staff.
Florida law requires that the governor and CFO must agree on the choice of an insurance commissioner, who can then be hired with the support of at least one other Cabinet member.
Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam joined Gov. Rick Scott and CFO Jeff Atwater in supporting Altmaier.
The selection appears to end weeks of politics and a standstill between Scott and Atwater over the selection.
More than 70 people submitted applications for the position.
Altmaier, who at age 34 will be one of the youngest state regulators, will be paid $165,000. McCarty will remain with OIR for a two month transition period.
Who Is Altmaier?
Altmaier is a property/casualty specialist who has been with the Florida OIR since 2008. A Kentucky native, he is a 2004 graduate of Western Kentucky University where he majored in mathematics. He spent two years working in a Tallahassee insurance agency (Peggy Browning Insurance Agency) in customer service before joining the Florida OIR in September 2008 as an examiner in the property/casualty financial oversight unit. He has risen in the ranks in that department to become chief analyst in 2012 and director in 2014. Last March he was named OIR’s deputy commissioner for P/C.
He has served on various committees of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, including chairing the P/C Risk-Capital Working Group and the Capital Adequacy Task Force.
Over the past seven years working at OIR, he said he has developed a “deep base of knowledge regarding Florida’s property/casualty market.” In his application, he cited his specific areas of expertise as including catastrophe reinsurance, reinsurance buying trends, residual markets, insurer accounting and reporting requirements, insurer capital requirements and insurance company examinations.
“In addition to the knowledge I have obtained through my experience at the OIR, I have also developed skills and abilities as both a regulator and leader,” he wrote in his application, citing his ability to communicate with senior level members and staff of the OIR and with elected officials.
“My wide variety of experiences related to insurance regulation allows me to view complex problem from multiple perspectives and make regulatory decisions in a fair, appropriate, and deliberative manner,” Altmaier wrote.
As part of his work at OIR, he spearheaded development of tools to monitor the resiliency of the state’s property insurance market in light of its exposure to catastrophic hurricanes.
“In particular, the Office’s development of these tools under my leadership resulted in the creation and implementation of one of the only catastrophe stress tests of its kind in the United States,” he wrote.
In his cover letter with his application, the new commissioner said that through his work at OIR, he has developed “a deep appreciation for the role insurance plays in the daily lives of Floridians.”
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