- December 14, 2022
Michael Yaworsky is officially Florida’s new insurance commissioner.
The state’s Financial Service’s Commission approved him to lead the state's Office of Insurance Regulation on Monday. The vote count was not released, and the commission did not respond to a question asking for the results.
Yaworsky had held the position on an interim basis since last month when Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed him to the job awaiting the commission’s final approval.
In a statement Monday Yawoksky says that “Florida’s insurance market is one of the largest in the world and plays a vital role in our state.
“As Insurance Commissioner, I look forward to ensuring OIR remains steadfast in our commitment to promote a stable and competitive insurance market for all Floridians.”
Yaworsky had been the vice chair of the Florida Gaming Control Commission since December 2021 and before that was the chief of staff at OIR. He is replacing David Altmaier, who left in December after more than six years.
In addition to his previous work with OIR, he was legal counsel to the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner. He has also served as counsel to the Georgia Senate President Pro Tempore and a chief of staff at the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
According to his official state bio, Yaworsky has a bachelor’s degree in social science from Florida State University and a law degree from Samford University in Alabama. He has been a member of the Georgia Bar since 2014.
He is taking over an office that oversees a troubled property insurance marketplace that was already in shambles before two hurricanes hit last year causing billons in damage.
There is home hope, maybe just a glimmer, though, that the market will see some improvements after the Florida Legislature passed reforms during two special sessions in 2022.
Among those was tort reform aimed at cutting down on lawsuits, long blamed for being the major reason insurance carriers can’t, or won’t, write policies in the state.
Industry insiders say these reforms, which curtail legal fees and are intended to cut the incentives to file lawsuits, will help bring some stability and competitiveness to the market.
While that will be welcome news if it works, it could be a couple of years before property owners begin to see a difference.