TALLAHASSEE — 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.”
Altmaier, 40, did not say whether he was leaving for another opportunity. His last day is Dec. 28.
“Since the Governor took office, Commissioner Altmaier has been instrumental in helping to pass and implement major property insurance reforms to bring relief to Floridians,” DeSantis spokesperson Taryn Fenske said in a statement. “We want to thank him for his years of public service.”
As the state’s top insurance regulator, Altmaier has presided over the state agency that approves industry rate filings, conducts investigations into insurers’ behavior and can declare insurers insolvent.
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.
This week, legislators convened in Tallahassee to pass new legislation to remedy the market — their fourth attempt in as many years.
The changes included limits on lawsuits against insurers that were long sought by the industry. Altmaier endorsed the legislation and said he believed it would eventually lead to lower premiums.
Democrats criticized Altmaier this week for not doing enough to police insurance companies over the years. (The Department of Financial Services, led by elected Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, also regulates insurers. No other state splits regulation between two offices.)
“During David Altmier’s time as Insurance Commissioner, insurance policies have become far more expensive and cover less than ever before,” Rep. Hillary Cassel, D-Dania Beach, an attorney who sues insurance companies, said in a statement Thursday.
Altmaier’s resignation was foreshadowed on Monday, when Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, told him in a Senate committee, “It’s come to my attention that you are going to be leaving the office very shortly.”
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Berman was rebuked by committee chairperson Travis Hutson, R-Elkton, for not limiting her question to the substance of the bill.
Altmaier did not address Berman’s comment but said that a pending study of the property insurance market would continue regardless of who was in charge.