Commissioner Spotlight: South Carolina Director Ray Farmer

In the latest entry in our Commissioner Spotlight series, we are focusing on the head of the South Carolina Department of Insurance (SCDOI), Director Ray Farmer.

Dir. Farmer served as vice president of the American Insurance Association (AIA, now APCIA), a trade association for insurance carriers. He spent the early part of his regulatory career as Deputy Insurance Commissioner for the Enforcement Division of the Georgia Department of Insurance. In 2012, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley appointed Dir. Farmer to head the SCDOI, and he has served in that role ever since.

Why Director Farmer is Important to Agents:

As chair of the NAIC’s now-defunct Cybersecurity Working Group, Dir. Farmer shepherded the Insurance Data Security Model Law (MDL-668) through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) approval process, a years-long endeavor that culminated in the model law’s passage by the NAIC in Oct. 2017.

In 2018, Dir. Farmer became the first commissioner to oversee the passage of the NAIC model by a state. The South Carolina Insurance Data Security Act was, at the time of its passage, the first state law in the country to require insurance companies specifically to have a comprehensive plan in place to protect consumer data. Since then, similar laws have been passed by several other states.

Dir. Farmer recently helped develop the South Carolina Private Flood Insurance Act, which was signed into law late last month. The new law will let private insurance companies in SC offer flood insurance coverage that can be tailored to meet the needs of prospective customers and priced competitively against the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Dir. Farmer has said he hopes that the new law helps eliminate obstacles to engaging the private market in the sale of flood insurance.

Plus, Dir. Farmer has been serving as NAIC president since January 2020, following his election at the NAIC’s 2019 Fall National Meeting. Prior to being elected President of the NAIC, Dir. Farmer served as President-Elect in 2019, Vice President in 2018, and Secretary-Treasurer in 2017.

In his role at the NAIC, Dir. Farmer also serves as Co-Chair of the Climate and Resiliency Task Force, Co-Chair of its Special Committee on Race and Insurance, Chair of its Government Relations Leadership Council (GRLC), and Vice Chair of its Reinsurance Task Force. He is also a member of its Innovation and Technology Task Force, Long-Term Care Insurance Task Force, Long-Term Care Insurance Multistate Rate Review Subgroup, Regulatory Framework Task Force, Casualty Actuarial and Statistical Task Force, Surplus Lines Task Force, Title Insurance Task Force, Workers’ Compensation Task Force, Antifraud Task Force, Market Regulation Certification Working Group, Producer Licensing Task Force, Financial Condition Committee, Capital Adequacy Task Force, Receivership and Insolvency Task Force, Restructuring Mechanisms Working Group, Risk Retention Group Task Force, and the NAIC/Consumer Liaison Committee.

PIA National has long valued its close relationship with the NAIC and its leaders, and we look forward to continuing our collaborations with Dir. Farmer at the NAIC and in the state of South Carolina in the years to come.