This blog has followed the procedure and politics behind the departure of Kevin McCarty as Florida’s Insurance Commissioner. Commissioner McCarty has been a wonderful servant to the people of Florida. More specifically, he has been an excellent insurance commissioner under very difficult circumstances.
The State of Florida is in the process of replacing the current Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty. As this blog has outlined in prior posts, McCarty has been a fair and effective commissioner under very difficult circumstances. His departure will be a loss for Florida’s insurance consumers.
About a year ago, I posted a blog, Kevin McCarty and the Florida Cabinet.
At that time, there was chatter that Commissioner McCarty would be fired by the Financial Services Commission (made up of the Governor, Attorney General, and CFO). Thankfully, he was not let go.
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty obtained a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Association For Insurance Reform. His acceptance speech was brilliant, engaging, emotional, and funny. Floridians are lucky to have him working for us in the Department of Insurance now known as the Office of Insurance Regulation since the early 1990s.
Recently, as outlined in Nicole Vinson’s blog post, Will Kevin McCarty Remain Florida’s Insurance Commissioner?, it has become apparent that the Florida Insurance Commissioner is on the hot seat. Unfortunately, there is no good reason for him to be in such a position. I was quoted on this topic by the Miami Herald and stated:
Kevin McCarty has been doing right by policyholders,” said Sean Shaw, founder of the group Policyholders of Florida and a former state insurance consumer advocate. “His job should not be in jeopardy, nor should Gov. Scott be attempting to circumvent the constitutional obligations of the Florida Cabinet again. This isn’t how our government is supposed to work.
Kevin McCarty has been Florida’s insurance commissioner since 2003 and has worked for the state for the past 26 years, but rumors have been spreading that Commissioner Kevin McCarty may not survive the transition into Governor Rick Scott’s second term. The media has us guessing whether there could be a resignation or whether Scott will replace McCarty with a different commissioner.
Florida’s CFO Jeff Atwater must have had sticker shock when getting his bill for insurance renewal premiums. Last week, Atwater fired off a letter to Florida’s Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty asking why Florida insurance rates were still going up despite a drop in reinsurance rates.
Floridians won a great victory on Tuesday. Against the wishes of powerful legislators in Tallahassee and the exceptionally influential insurance lobby, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty struck down most of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s proposed 447% sinkhole insurance rate hikes.
Florida’s sinkhole issues have hit the national news. In an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, "Sinkhole Claims Threaten To Engulf Florida Insurers," the public adjusting industry takes some hard hits.
The Insurance Commissioner has apparently decided to start calling some of my clients. According to the St. Petersburg Times, his office is trying to find statistical information regarding sinkholes reported between 2006 and 2009. We’ll call and try to find out more information so we can help them get accurate answers, but, in "Florida Regulators Investigate Rash of Sinkhole Claims" reporter Jeff Harrington found the following:
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said Wednesday that he has issued a "data call" to commercial and residential property insurers to collect sinkhole claims information.
Specifically, regulators are seeking details about claims opened anywhere in the state from 2006 to 2010. Included in the report will be the types of claims, testing procedures to determine legitimacy, costs of inspections, locations of claims, legal fees and public adjuster fees, and amount of structural loss.