Dan Luby of the Florida Insurance News forwarded a Blog, Alex Sink’s Cold War with the Insurance Commissioner, by Gary Fine regarding a possible “riff” between Alex Sink and Kevin McCarty. I find this curious because the two of them are leading consumer advocates for policyholders. I have never found Bill McCollum, Sink’s opponent for Florida Governor next year to be a supporter of policyholders. He is clearly the insurance industry’s candidate. Yet, the Blog noted:

“Interestingly enough, Attorney General Bill McCollum – and Sink’s likely rival for the governor’s office in 2010 – praised McCarty’s report, saying that Floridians should be "very pleased" with the amount of surplus lines coverage since it has helped decrease the need to have commercial coverage picked up by state-created insurers.”

The Report that McCollum was referring to is the Emerging Florida Homeowners Property Marketplace. The report is full of operational information regarding many insurers. It also suggests that the surplus lines industry is participating much more than anticipated. Possibly, the Surplus Lines Legislation just passed is having a positive impact with new and increased surplus lines capacity coming into Florida.

Gary Fine outlined the nature of the antagonism between the two consumer advocates:

“McCarty made the presentation at the request of Sink, who was following up on complaints from lawmakers who pushed the insurance deregulation or a.k.a the "State Farm" bill. These lawmakers have contended that McCarty misled Crist before he vetoed the legislation and there remains a quiet effort to get the Legislature to pass a new version of the bill if there is a special session later this year. The bill in essence would allow large capitalized carriers to have unregulated rates. (Sink refused to say Tuesday whether Crist should have signed or vetoed this bill – saying that was "the governor’s decision" to make.)

"McCarty for his part has refuted the suggestion he misled anyone, saying he and members of his office have been "candid" that a big chunk of new capital in Florida has come from unregulated surplus lines carriers which do not usually cover those in the residential homeowners market.

Sink on Tuesday morning chided McCarty for failing to get her the information she requested earlier, saying "it still stuns me" that his office was unable to get the information to her sooner.”

Hopefully, they will be able to get this behind them. I agree with Alex Sink that everybody has to have their performance reviewed. Contrary to the belief of those in the insurance industry and some in the Florida legislature listening to the industry rather than their constituents, Kevin McCarty has been doing a fantastic job for Florida policyholders.