SC insurance regulator to retire this week after 9 years | Business

Alma L. Figueroa

The director of the agency that regulates the insurance industry in South Carolina is retiring after nine years in the job.

Ray Farmer is stepping down at the S.C. Department of Insurance at the end of the week, Gov. Henry McMaster’s office announced April 12.

He was appointed to the post in 2012 by then-Gov. Nikki Haley. McMaster asked him to stay on in 2018. 

“Under the leadership of director Farmer, the S.C. Department of Insurance has taken great strides in protecting the interests of consumers and adapting to an ever-changing insurance marketplace,” McMaster said in a written statement.

Farmer oversaw the adoption of the S.C. Insurance Data Security Act in 2018 and the Private Flood Insurance Act in 2020, and last year he helped establish a fraud division. He also served as president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Before Haley appointed him, he was a lobbyist and Southeast region vice president for the American Insurance Association.

Farmer said that in his 53-year career in the industry, “this is truly the best job I’ve ever had.”

Michael Wise, who has worked for the department since 2009 and is deputy director of actuarial and market services, will become acting director effective April 15. The 35-year-old Richland County resident will serve in that role until McMaster appoints a full-time replacement, who will have to be confirmed by the S.C. Senate.

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Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott

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