Gov. Nikki Haley named Ray Farmer as South Carolina’s next insurance commissioner.
Published Nov. 13, 2012
Gov. Nikki Haley today named Ray Farmer, a 40-year veteran of the insurance industry, as South Carolina's next insurance commissioner. Farmer most recently served as vice president of the Southeast region for the American Insurance Association.
Haley said she had sought a person from the private sector of the insurance industry, but most candidates whom she would have considered would not leave the private sector for a government salary.
Farmer has served at the American Insurance Association since 1979. The trade group represents more than 300 insurance companies. Previously, he was deputy insurance commissioner of the enforcement division at the Georgia Insurance Department from 1971 to 1979.
He is an attorney, a member of the State Bar of Georgia and a graduate of the John Marshall Law School.
His insurance experience includes assisting member companies at the association as they decided which states to conduct business in. Farmer and the governor indicated they would like to utilize that experience to grow the insurance sector in the state.
Farmer served more than 30 years on the board of directors of the Georgia Arson Control Program, an industry organization that helps firefighters and prosecutors to combat arson.
Farmer described himself as leaning toward the private sector where regulation is concerned.
“I’ve learned that insurance serves the public best when government is least,” he said.
Haley said she requires all her cabinet directors to work together, and she indicated that Farmer would coordinate with the state’s Health and Human Services Director Tony Keck where health insurance is concerned.
South Carolina has not had a permanent insurance commissioner since David Black resigned as director of the S.C. Department of Insurance last December after just 11 months on the job. Black was the former president and CEO of Greenville-based Liberty Life Insurance Co. He gave no reason for his abrupt resignation.