January 18, 2021

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David Altmaier Starts 2021 With Growing Accomplishment

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David Altmaier is Florida’s Insurance Commissioner. On January 21, he becomes the President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. He deserves a big shout-out because his career rise is truly amazing. He sets a great example of why students should pay special attention in math class, and I applaud him for starting his career as a teacher. Here is his biography listed on the NAIC website:

David Altmaier was appointed as the Florida Insurance Commissioner in April 2016 by the Financial Services Commission. He leads the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) and has oversight of one of the largest insurance markets in the world. Under Altmaier’s leadership, OIR has worked to cultivate a market in Florida in which insurance products are reliable, available, and affordable.

Altmaier began his public service at OIR in 2008, serving in a number of roles including Chief Analyst of the Property and Casualty Financial Oversight unit and Deputy Commissioner of Property and Casualty Insurance.

In 2019, Altmaier was voted Vice President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and was voted NAIC President-Elect for 2020. In his role as President-Elect, Altmaier serves as Vice Chair of the Executive Committee, Internal Administration Subcommittee and the Government Relations Leadership Council. Commissioner Altmaier was also appointed by Governor DeSantis to serve as a member Florida’s Blockchain Task Force.

Prior to joining OIR, Altmaier worked as a Florida licensed 2-20 and 2-14 insurance agent and as a high school math teacher. Altmaier graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics.

Here is a shortened history and purpose of the NAIC:1

The NAIC was founded in 1871 by state insurance regulators to “address the need to coordinate regulation of multistate insurers. The first major step in that process was the development of uniform financial reporting by insurance companies.

Because insurers often do business in multiple states, the question of whether they should be regulated on a state or federal level has long been a matter of debate in the U.S. The 1944 Supreme Court case United States v. The South-Eastern Underwriters Association determined that the insurance industry should be subject to regulation by Congress under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which gives lawmakers regulatory authority over interstate and international commerce. However, Congress effectively overrode that ruling the following year with the passage of the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which exempted the insurance industry from most federal regulation, including antitrust laws.

Today, with few exceptions, that regulatory authority still resides with the states and their elected or appointed insurance commissioners.

The NAIC is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., with executive offices in Washington, D.C. The group says its regulatory goals are to:

Protect the public interest
Promote competitive markets
Facilitate the fair and equitable treatment of insurance consumers
Promote the reliability, solvency, and financial solidity of insurance institutions
Support and improve state regulation of insurance

Through committees, task forces, and working groups, the NAIC develops model laws and regulations to help standardize insurance across the states. Its standing committees include life insurance and annuities, health insurance and managed care, property and casualty insurance, market regulation and consumer affairs, the financial condition of insurers, financial regulation standards and accreditation, and international insurance relations.

What happened in 1871 that mandated the NAIC be founded? In the 1869 case of Paul v. Virginia,2 the United States Supreme Court held that a corporation is not a citizen within the meaning of the Privileges and Immunities Clause. The Court further held that “issuing a policy of insurance is not a transaction of commerce,” effectively removing the business of insurance beyond the United States Congress’s legislative reach. The states responded by forming what eventually became the NAIC so that there would be regulatory accountability of the insurance industry.

Thought For The Day

I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.
—John Steinbeck
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1 Investopedia. Available at https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/nainsurancec.asp#:~:text=History%20of%20the%20National%20Association%20of%20Insurance%20Commissioners,the%20need%20to%20coordinate%20regulation%20of%20multistate%20insurers
2Paul v. Virginia, 75 U.S. (8 Wall.) 168 (1869).

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