Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has been selected by the NAIC as the new chair of the NAIC’s International Insurance Relations Committee. McCarty has been very involved and outspoken on international insurance issues for several years on behalf of the U.S. insurance industry. In addition, he has served as insurance commissioner for the state of Florida since 2003, as well as holding the position of NAIC president in 2012 and serving as vice chair of the International Insurance Relations Committee last year. McCarty takes over the position from outgoing chair Michael Consedine, the former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner who recently resigned from office.
McCarty will take over the position at a critical time for the committee. The committee focuses on handling the relationship between the NAIC and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (“IAIS”) and worldwide policy makers, which can be challenging to manage. Disagreements have arisen due to differences in opinion regarding what constitutes regulatory transparency, the role of the U.S. in global rulemaking and differences between the European and other systems for policy writing and the state regulation focused insurance system employed in the U.S. Tensions arose last year when the IAIS decided to close its meetings to all outside viewers, leading the NAIC to threaten to withhold support of IAIS final regulatory guidelines.
There is uncertainty surrounding how long McCarty will hold the position. It has been reported that Governor Scott has attempted to convince McCarty to step down and may attempt to force his resignation. In order to remove McCarty as the insurance commissioner, Scott would have to receive majority support from Florida’s Cabinet, which consists of three members.