Florida’s insurance commissioner to resign May 2

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said Tuesday he will resign effective May 2, a year after Gov. Rick Scott’s office openly sought his replacement.

“The privilege of serving the people of Florida as Insurance Commissioner has been the highlight of my professional career,” McCarty said in a statement. “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.”

A statement did not specify what role he might pursue next.

McCarty has served as the only appointed Insurance Commissioner for the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation since it was originally created in 2003, officials noted.

“Commissioner McCarty is a true public servant that has served the state and Florida’s insurance consumers well,” said Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Sha’Ron James.

Scott’s communications director Jackie Schutz said, “We appreciate his service to the state and we wish him the best of luck in his next endeavor.”

A year ago, Schutz said there was good reason to consider change at several state agencies including the Office of Insurance Regulation.

“Government too often gets stuck in a rut and doesn’t like to change,” her statement said. “But, just like in business — it is good to get fresh ideas and new leadership, especially as we move into a second term. Executive office positions are not lifetime appointments and for the same reason there are term limits in elected office — it is important to search for the best and newest ideas whenever possible.”

Scott was not immediately successful at replacing McCarty after other Cabinet members argued for a more deliberative process to review performance and consider future candidates.

McCarty’s replacement would be appointed by Scott and the elected cabinet,  including Attorney General Pam Bondi, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.

“Kevin McCarty has long served the people of Florida with the utmost integrity,” Atwater said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”