An article in the Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s insurance commissioner quits amid state’s property insurance crisis, reported the following:
Florida’s insurance commissioner submitted his letter of resignation Thursday, a day after the Legislature made major changes to the state’s troubled property insurance market.
‘I am so proud of the work the Office has been able to accomplish during my tenure,’ David Altmaier wrote in a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis. ‘I remain committed throughout the remainder of my tenure — and after — to continue the momentum we have established to make Florida the best place in the union to live, work, and prosper.’
An analyst who started at the agency in 2008, Altmaier rose through the ranks until he was named as commissioner by then-Gov. Rick Scott in 2016.
Since then, the state’s property insurance market has imploded. Eight companies have gone insolvent since 2019, and dozens of others have stopped writing new policies or pulled out of the state.
Homeowners’ insurance premiums have gone through the roof, with Floridians now paying an average of more than $4,200, triple the national average.
After overseeing Florida’s insurance marketplace into oblivion, Altmaier supported the most anti-policyholder legislation in the history of the United States, which changed laws in place for more than 100 years. Altmaier supported raising insurance rates while at the same time eliminating policyholder rights. Florida’s governor, who supported Altmaier, also supported increased premiums and fewer consumer protections by pushing for and signing these new laws this week.
Since I support the common people policyholders rather than the fat cat insurance executives, Altmaier and I have not agreed on much since he took over. Over five years ago, I wrote the following in Hurricane Irma Closed Claim Statistics Questioned:
The Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee held a public hearing last Tuesday. The video above is my very brief testimony at the hearing where I questioned the Hurricane Irma Closed Claim statistics provided by Florida’s Insurance Commissioner, David Altmaier. The Commissioner was a math teacher before joining the Office of Insurance Regulation. I have no idea what training he has had regarding what constitutes wrongful claims practices and he has never reached out to any policyholder consumer groups I am familiar with.
Florida’s insurance commissioner was pretty upset with the hearing, I think the 24% of closed claims following Hurricane Irma is a statistic which is completely misleading if he was referring to homeowner and commercial property insurance claims. He also had a Pensacola restoration contractor suggest that his office was simply missing the unfair claims practices some insurers engage in as a general practice. Maybe math classes do not teach insurance leaders how to find insurers that may abuse policyholders?
… Unlike Florida’s insurance commissioner, who has his lobby filled with insurance company lobbyists, our waiting rooms and phones are filled with policyholders having problems getting paid following a property insurance loss. We hear from contractors and public adjusters about all kinds of problems insurance companies create for policyholders during the claims process.
Perhaps Commissioner Altmaier or one of his deputies would like to spend a day with us. If he and his office are truly looking for evidence of problems facing many Hurricane Irma policyholders, we can help show him and his staff.
With the revelation about Florida insurance company executives taking money through back-door deals with affiliated companies, where were Altmaier and his staff preventing this?
With the revelation of field adjusters having estimates altered by claims managers to wrongfully lower claims payments, where were Altmaier and his staff protecting policyholders from wrongful claims practices?
Will Altmaier and others at Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation join the revolving door into jobs in the insurance industry, as I noted in The Revolving Door Connecting Insurance Regulators with the Supposedly Regulated Insurance Industry?
Only he can answer those questions.
All policyholders and I can do is celebrate his resignation. Most of us have felt like the munchkins in a faraway land and ignored ever since Altmaier was appointed Florida’s insurance commissioner.
Thought For The Day
I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!
—The Wicked Witch of the West