In a special election, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has chosen a “leader with broad experience” to head the organization as its president-elect.  

John Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institution and Professional Registration, was elected Sunday to fill the spot vacated Jan. 20 by now former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael F. Consedine, who left his role in Pennsylvania with the start of a new governor.

In electing Huff, the NAIC has “chosen a leader with broad experience in the private and public sectors, as well as the Financial Stability Oversight Council and on the international level,” says Joel Wood, senior vice president of government affairs at the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. “This is an important time for the NAIC and the industry with the creation of NARAB, among many other issues. … Huff’s election is a good sign that NAIC will continue to have able leadership to face these tasks.”

The election by his peers of Huff is “not surprising,” as he is one of the longest tenured insurance regulators in the country, says Wes Bissett, senior counsel, government affairs, at the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.

The officer position at the NAIC is an important one, Bissett adds. “They are influential, thought leaders within our industry,” he explains. “Typically, when Congress looks for an expert, if not the [NAIC] president it’s an officer. These are influential positions for sure.”

Historically, the president-elect is elected president during the following general November elections, but there is no guarantee of the move, according to an NAIC spokeswoman.

Ed Anderson, a broker in Edina, Mo. and member of NAIFA-Missouri, says that NAIFA members in the show me state are “pleased to have increased visibility within the NAIC brought by Huff’s election.:

“He has frequently participated in agent organization events and is respected as a consumer advocate,” Anderson adds. “He has made the Missouri Division of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration more open to the public.”

Bill Hill, media relations chair for the Missouri Association of Health Underwriters, says, “MOAHU hopes that Huff will bring his technological and administrative expertise to other insurance commissioners across the country.”

MOAHU “feels strongly that Huff’s leadership is proof that regulatory agencies can provide regulatory control without excessive approval and reporting requirements,” he adds.

Huff is a native of Potosi, Mo., and began his tenure at insurance commissioner in Missouri in February 2009. At NAIC, he chairs the reinsurance task force, financial regulation standards and accreditation committee and the newly formed governance review task force. He also serves as vice chair of the NAIC/industry liaison committee.

Before entering public service, he spent 11 years as an executive with insurers and reinsurers, including Swiss Re and GE Insurance Solutions. At these companies, he led global teams and was stationed in London and Zurich.

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