The state of Florida has a new permanent Insurance Commissioner of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR), as Michael Yaworsky has now been confirmed by the Financial Services Commission.
Yaworsky has been interim Insurance Commissioner in Florida since David Altmaier stood down at the end of last year and Governor DeSantis nominated him in February 2023.
Previously, Yaworsky had served as the Vice Chairman of the Florida Gaming Control Commission and as the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s (OIR) Chief of Staff from 2017 – 2021.
As Chief of Staff to the insurance regulator, Yaworsky helped out in overseeing one of the largest insurance markets in the world, serving as a policy advisor to the Commissioner and managing agency fiscal matters and administrative operations.
Commenting on his appointment, Yaworsky said, “I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve Florida as Insurance Commissioner, and I want to thank Governor DeSantis and the Financial Services Commission for their support.
“Florida’s insurance market is one of the largest in the world and plays a vital role in our state. As Insurance Commissioner, I look forward to ensuring OIR remains steadfast in our commitment to promote a stable and competitive insurance market for all Floridians.”
Yaworsky becomes the permanent Florida Insurance Commissioner at a critical time for the market, as its carriers face what could be their most challenging reinsurance renewal ever.
Already, as we reported yesterday, Florida specialist carriers are looking for levers to help them manage the expected much higher reinsurance costs.
Reinsurance affordability if going to be an issue for many homeowners and property insurance carriers operating in the state and it’s going to bring the solvency of carriers operating in Florida firmly into focus this year.
At the same time, a recent report from the Washington Post cites an almost reversal of previous storm trends with hurricane Ian, as claims come in below policyholders expectations in many cases.
That’s a perhaps unexpected turn of events, given the reforms enacted in Florida were not fully in-force for claims from hurricane Ian.
It also suggests there could a risk that a litigation tail emerges with hurricane Ian, if so many policyholders are disgruntled with the quantum of their claims for repairs.
All of which suggests the new Insurance Commissioner has quite a job on his hands.
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