Although some folks don’t agree with his stance on State Farm (don’t count me among that number), the votes are in at the Lexis Nexis Insurance Law Center and Florida’s own insurance commissioner has won the Regulator of the Year award:
Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty’s impact on Florida and the nation’s insurance marketplace is undeniable. He has proven himself as a force to be reckoned with. In his steadfast role as “agitator in chief” of the property and casualty marketplace in the Sunshine State, he has irritated homeowners’ insurance companies for the benefit of consumers to the point where large carriers have threatened to exit the marketplace. McCarty’s “take no prisoners” attitude has earned him a reputation as a tough, unyielding, intelligent and politically capable regulator. If you represent an insurance company, you may not like him. If you are a Florida insurance consumer, he may be your hero.
McCarty has also defined himself on the national stage. He has been a tireless advocate in Congress and at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for a national catastrophe insurance plan. He understands the uphill battle that stands in the way of creating such a plan, and whether you agree with him or not he remains firm in his belief that such a plan is imperative for the country, and for the survival of the insurance industry in his catastrophe prone state.
Commissioner McCarty’s work and advocacy on numerous issues, ranging from holding life insurance companies accountable for their potential discrimination against consumers who travel abroad, to his advocacy against insurers’ use of credit scores when underwriting and pricing policies, has attracted the attention of his colleagues, insurers and consumers. McCarty was recently elected as Secretary Treasurer of the NAIC, and will move through the chairs for the next 4 years.
ILC received a large number of comments received from community participants in support of Commissioner McCarty’s nomination and he also received strong support for his candidacy from throughout the regulatory community.
Opinions about whether Kevin McCarty’s accomplishments as Insurance Commissioner in the State of Florida may heavily depend on which side of the bar an individual occupies, but his impact on the insurance industry—for good or for ill—is undeniable. For all of the foregoing reasons, the Board therefore concludes that Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty is the international, federal, state or local regulator who had the most impact on the insurance industry during 2008.