Insurance Commissioner Names Team To Calculate Property Insurance Rate Savings
TALLAHASSEE (02/14/2007) - The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) today announced that it has contracted with a consulting actuary to calculate property insurance rate reductions for Floridians which are required under legislation recently signed into law by Gov. Charlie Crist. J. Robert Hunter arrived in Tallahassee today to begin work to determine rate reductions which are required to be adopted by all Florida residential property insurers.
Hunter is the former insurance commissioner of the state of Texas and presently serves as the director of the Consumer Federation of America. He has over 45 years of experience in the insurance industry, with an emphasis on analysis of public policy issues related to insurance. Hunter is a fellow (by examination) in the Casualty Actuarial Society and is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Hunter will be joined by Paul Walther, CPCU, ARe, who is a renowned reinsurance specialist and consultant.
Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said the work called for in HB 1A to accurately price the rate reductions is vital, which is why he is pleased to recruit someone of Hunter's stature for the assignment. "The body of work Bob has put together over the years is legendary," said McCarty. "He is truly one of the great minds on issues surrounding the insurance industry, and I am grateful we were able to attract him to Florida to take on this very important project."
"I want to make sure consumers get the full benefit from the reforms," said Hunter, "while also making sure insurers retain rates which accurately reflect the risk they are bearing. This law is a significant achievement, and I am honored to be asked to help implement the legislation."
The Office is required to calculate what is called a presumed factor by March 15th. A bill passed by the Florida Legislature during January's Special Session provided valuable enhancements to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. The changes will offset some of the massive increases in unregulated global reinsurance costs following the 2004 - 2005 hurricane seasons. Those increases are responsible, in large part, for the significant increases in insurance costs born by Floridians. The presumed factor will represent the savings that will be generated by these statutory changes.
Once the Office publishes the presumed factor each residential property insurer is required to file a rate change reflecting the presumed factor for insurance policies written or renewed on or after June 1, 2007. Insurers cannot non-renew or cancel residential property insurance policies until they make these required filings.
Hunter's resume is attached below.
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J. ROBERT HUNTER
2202 North 24th Street
Arlington, VA 22207
Consulting actuary with over 45 years of experience with the insurance industry, primarily engaged in analysis of major public policy issues relating to insurance (with an emphasis on property/casualty insurance), including actuarial matters and consumer issues.
B.Sc. in Physics, Clarkson University, Potsdam, N.Y., 1958.
Professional Qualifications and
Professional Association Activities
Casualty Actuarial Society. Fellow (by examination).
American Academy of Actuaries. Member
Experience and Employment
Self-employed consulting actuary.
Also serve as pro-bono Director of Insurance for the
Consumer Federation of America (CFA). (See "Pro Bono
Employment in the Private Insurance Industry.
1959-1960. Atlantic Mutual Insurance Companies. Underwriter, working on several lines of insurance, including commercial property/casualty insurance.
1960-1966. National Bureau of Casualty Underwriters (NBCU) (a forerunner organization of the Insurance Services Office (ISO)). I ran their state rate-filing unit, and later became an automobile insurance rate making supervisor in the actuarial department. Duties included: analysis of claims experience for rate making; presentation of the rate requests to the appropriate Bureau committees for action; and presentation of the adopted rate levels to state officials, sometimes in hearings.
1966-1970. Mutual Insurance Rating Bureau (MIRB) and the Mutual Insurance Advisory Association (MIAA). I was an Associate Actuary, engaged in activities similar to those in which I was engaged at NBCU, but for all lines of property/casualty insurance. As an officer of MIRB and MIAA, I dealt directly with the General Manager and was responsible for much of the research undertaken at these organizations.
MIRB/MIAA were forerunner organizations to the Automobile Insurance Plans Service Office ("AIPSO"), the organization charged with servicing and helping run, for the insurance industry, the residual market mechanisms (usually assigned risk plans) for automobile insurance in the U.S.
Employment in the public sector.
1970-1980. Federal Insurance Administration, U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, under HUD Secretary George Romney.
I served in a number of positions, including Chief Actuary, Deputy Federal Insurance Administrator, Acting Federal Insurance Administrator, and Federal Insurance Administrator.
During my ten-year stint in federal insurance regulation (1970-1980), I was involved with insurance-related public policy issues of the highest order. I testified before Congress on many occasions on the programs of the Federal Insurance Administration (such as property insurance written through the FAIR plans), as well as on insurance issues generally (such as the purported medical malpractice insurance "crisis" of the mid nineteen-seventies, the costing of health insurance, no-fault auto insurance proposals, and many other issues). I also served on federal inter-agency task forces dealing with products liability insurance, no-fault auto insurance, medical malpractice insurance, risk retention group formation, workers' compensation insurance, and other issues.
I was responsible for actuarial and public policy advice to HUD regarding statutory programs (e.g. flood insurance, the Riot Reinsurance/FAIR Plan, and Urban Crime Insurance) and many other matters as requested by the White House and other federal agencies. Some examples:
- Administered the FIA's Riot Reinsurance/FAIR Plan program. ("FAIR Plans" are the residual market for fire (homeowners and business properties) insurance. These were usually Joint Underwriting types of organizations.) In my work administering this program, we made many examinations of FAIR Plans, including reviewing claims practices. I participated in writing a book-length overall analysis of the public interest issues involved in residual market insurance (Fair Plan and automobile assigned risk plan), entitled Full Insurance Availability (HUD 1974).
- Administered the FIA's flood insurance program, which included both homeowner and business insurance. I monitored claims-paying approaches of the insurance companies that serviced the flood insurance program.
- Wrote the actuarial regulations for President Nixon's temporary 1972 wage- and price-freezing directives as well as for other phases of that program, and helped run some insurance rate cases for the Price Commission.
- Worked with the U.S. Department of Transportation on its landmark no-fault automobile insurance study.
- Worked with the U.S. Department of Labor on workers' compensation insurance matters.
- Worked with the White House on national health insurance proposals.
I received the HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence by Secretary Carla Hills for the work I performed from 1971-1977.
State Insurance Regulation
1993-94 Insurance Commissioner of the State of Texas, appointed by Governor Ann Richards. In charge of the day-to-day operations of the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). Made all executive decisions on insurance policy matters that arose during my tenure, including rate making, statistical collection, loss prevention, solvency monitoring, residual market issues, enforcement, examination, claims practices, complaint resolution, consumer information dissemination and myriad other matters attendant to running a major government agency such as TDI.
I also undertook a major reorganization of TDI, cutting the staff from 1,100 to about 900 and greatly decentralizing the authority to the remaining staff. TDI became a much more effective and efficient organization during my brief tenure.
As Texas Insurance Commissioner, I was a member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Served on the Executive Committee of the NAIC and as Vice-Chair of the Western Zone of the NAIC. Served on several advisory groups to the NAIC, including the Advisory Committee to the Task Force on Profitability and Investment Income, the Market Conduct Advisory Committee, the Nuclear Insurance Advisory Committee and as co-chair of the Technical Resource Group to the Statistical Task Force.
(Since leaving the insurance regulation field I have served as a "funded" consumer representative to the NAIC (i.e. NAIC paid travel expenses to facilitate my attendance at their meetings).)
Private Actuarial and Public Policy Consulting
1980-1993 Conducted my own actuarial and insurance public policy consulting practice, voluntarily limiting my clients to government agencies and consumers of insurance to avoid even the appearance of any conflict of interest vis-à-vis my work on consumer matters. (Clients are named below under "Public Policy Research and Testimony".)
1995-to date Actuarial and insurance public policy consulting practice; resumed pro-bono activities as Director of Insurance for the Consumer Federation of America.
Extensive consulting work on a variety of insurance issues for state agencies, including:
Ratemaking and profitability matters (early 1980s) and disciplinary actions related to market conduct abuses (1995) for the Florida Department of Insurance.
Pricing and public policy issues related to tort reform measures for the New York, Maine and California legislatures.
Medical malpractice insurance for the Governor of Puerto Rico.
Workers' compensation insurance rate making for the Attorney General of Oklahoma, the Attorney General of Virginia, the Public Advocate of Maine, the Public Advocate of Florida and the Governor of Puerto Rico.
Private passenger automobile insurance as a member of the Governor's Task Force in the State of New Jersey.
Private passenger automobile insurance rate making for the Public Advocate of New Jersey, the Public Advocate of South Carolina, the Attorney General of Connecticut, the Attorney General of Massachusetts, the Attorney General of Virginia, the Attorney General of California, the Office of Public Insurance Counsel in Texas and the Departments of Insurance in California, Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Texas.
Insurance implications of hurricanes as a member of the consulting team for the Academic Task Force in the State of Florida following Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Antitrust and reinsurance as a member of the Governor's Subcommittee on Antitrust and Reinsurance in Virginia.
Public Policy Research and Testimony
Testified as an actuarial expert on behalf of clients (such as those listed below); on behalf of the private insurance industry when I was employed there during the nineteen-sixties; on behalf of consumer organizations such as NICO, CFA, Consumer's Union (publisher of Consumer Reports), Common Cause, and others; on behalf of the States of California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and others; and on behalf of the federal government from the 1980s to the early 1990s.
Testified or performed research for federal agencies, including:
U.S. Department of Labor (on Workers' Compensation rate
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (on Medical Malpractice)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (on insurance
aspects of hazardous waste)
U.S. General Accounting Office (on federal tax policy and
The U.S. Congress's Office of Technology Assessment on
Testified frequently before committees of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, as Federal Insurance Administrator, as President of NICO, as Texas Insurance Commissioner, and as Director of Insurance at CFA.
Testified before every state legislature in one forum or another.
Testified on the purported "liability crisis" at least once in every state of the Union (plus D.C. and Puerto Rico) during a 12-month period in the mid-1980s.
News Media Writing and Interviews
Articles published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, the Dallas Morning News, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and other leading newspapers.
Quoted extensively in the insurance industry press and the general media.
Interviews on numerous TV programs, including "Larry King Live," "60 Minutes," "This Week With David Brinkley," "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," "CBS Morning News," "CBS Evening News," "NBC Evening News," "Fox News," "Donahue," and "Oprah Winfrey."
Frequent appearances on radio shows-both news programs (e.g. National Public Radio's "All Things Considered") and talk shows (e.g. Larry King).
2002 Esther Peterson Consumer Service Award for lifetime
outstanding service to consumers
2002 Schraeder-Nelson Publications Award; article of the
year for Enron's Impact on State Insurance Regulation,
Regulator Magazine, Insurance Regulatory Examiner's
1976 HUD Secretary's Award for Excellence for work
performed from 1970 to
Published Articles and Papers (Partial List)
2006 False Claims; The Problems with the National Flood
Insurance Program; op-ed, New York Times
2005 Principles for Protecting Consumers Under a Federal
Catastrophe Insurance Program.
1998 J. Robert Hunter, America's Disastrous Disaster
"System" (Consumer Federation of America, 1998).
Analyzes critically the current approach to handling
disasters in this nation and proposes an alternative
system that would end taxpayer subsidy of anticipated
levels of damage, move the cost of high risk to those
who live in high risk areas, and minimize death and
damage due to unwise construction practices.
1995 J. Robert Hunter, Product Liability Insurance Experience,
1995 J. Robert Hunter, Medical Malpractice Insurance
Experience, 1984-1993 (1995)
1995 J. Robert Hunter, Auto Insurance—Progress Through
Reform But More To Be Done (1995)
1994 J. Robert Hunter, "Insuring Against Natural Disaster,"
Journal of Insurance Regulation (1994).
1993 J. Robert Hunter, "Rate Suppression, A Critique",
Journal of Insurance Regulation (1993).
1985 J. Robert Hunter and Professor Raymond Hill (Princeton
University), Workers' Compensation Insurance Rate
making: Regulation of Profit Margins and Investment
Income. (Written under contract for the U.S. Department
1983 J. Robert Hunter, "Study of Feasibility of Risk Retention
Groups for Hazardous Waste Facilities," in the Journal of
the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters' Society.
Addressed the possible use of risk retention groups to
ease the tight market for environmental coverage.
(Written under contract for the Environmental Protection
1983 J. Robert Hunter and Dr. John W. Wilson, Investment
Income and Profitability in Property/Casualty Insurance
Rate Making (1983). Paper was instrumental in
convincing the NAIC to adopt "total return rate making
procedures" as the preferred rate regulatory model.
Reports (Partial List)
2007 J. Robert Hunter, Property/Casualty Insurance in 2007:
Overpriced Insurance, Underpaid Claims, Declining
Losses and Unjustified Profits, Consumer Federation of
2006 J. Robert Hunter, Study of GEICOs Use of Occupation
and Education in Classifying Auto Insurance, Consumer
Federation of America.
2006 Report to National Association of Insurance
Commissioners on the Impact of higher Gasoline Prices
on Auto Insurance Pricing - Consumer Federation
2006 Testimony before House Financial Services Committee
on Title Insurance Cost and Competition.
2006 Before the Senate Judiciary Committee, "Implications of
Repealing the Insurer's Antitrust Exemption.
2005 Before the Senate Banking Committee, "Oversight of the
National Flood Insurance Program"
2005 Before the Senate Banking Committee, "Oversight of the
Terrorism Risk Insurance Program"
2005 Weaning the Insurance Industry and Large Commercial
Policyholders from Taxpayer Subsidies Under the
Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.
2005 The Impact of Commissions on Prices and Service
Quality for Home and Automobile Insurance.
2005 Contingent Insurance Commissions: Implications for
2004 Before the Senate Governmental Affairs Subcommittee,
"Insurance Brokerage Practices and Contingent
2004 Before the Senate Banking Subcommittee, "Examination
and Oversight of the Condition and Regulation of the
2004 The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act: Should It Be
2002 How the Lack of Federal Back Up for Terrorism
Insurance Has Affected Insurers and Consumers: An
2000 J. Robert Hunter, Study of State Insurance
Departments, Part III: Internet Web Page Grades.
2000 J. Robert Hunter, 1988, 1993, and 1998 Changes in
State Insurance Department Resources. (CFA)
1999 Consumer Information Available From State Insurance
1999 Insurance Department Grades for Consumer Complaint
1986 J. Robert Hunter, Insurance in California: Profitability,
Competition and Equity in Selling and Pricing Private
Passenger Automobile Insurance and the Crisis in Day
Care and Municipal Liability Insurance. Commissioned by
the California legislature. The principal document used
by the drafters of Proposition 103 as a blueprint for
casualty insurance reform in California.
1984 Series of reports on the interrelationship of gender and
miles driven in setting auto insurance rates.
1981 J. Robert Hunter, Gas Prices and Auto Rates: Insurance
Implications of the Dynamic Changes in America's
1980 J. Robert Hunter, Taking the Bite Out of Insurance:
Investment Income in Rate Making. Led to a major NAIC
study of this issue.
Pro Bono Activities
1980-93 I created an insurance consumer organization, the
National Insurance Consumer Organization, which I
served pro-bono. NICO was the first national organization
dedicated to looking at all kinds of insurance (except
pensions) from a consumer perspective. It undertook
research and advocacy on behalf of consumers, and
became the leading voice for consumers on insurance
NICO published information advising consumers how to
buy insurance of all types, fielded complaints from
consumers, and otherwise dealt on a daily basis with the
needs and concerns of insurance consumers, including
their understanding of insurance contracts.
1995 Serve pro-bono as Director of Insurance for the
Consumer Federation of America to date CFA), 1424 16th
Street, N.W., Suite 604, Washington, DC 20036.
CFA is a federation of 250 consumer advocacy groups with a combined membership of more than 50 million Americans.