TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It’s been an eventful week for Florida’s property insurance market.
Lawmakers held a special session to address the crisis. Those sweeping reforms are now the law of the land.
As 8 On Your Side reported Thursday, the state’s top insurance chief is stepping down in a matter of days. David Altmaier has been Florida’s top insurance chief for six years. But he’s been with the agency for much longer than that, since 2008.
In his resignation letter, Altmaier doesn’t explain why he’s leaving – or where he’s heading.
Now, some Democrats and industry insiders are questioning the timing.
At the end of the special session Wednesday, Florida lawmakers passed sweeping property insurance reforms.
It’s their second attempt this year to stabilize the imploding market.
Twenty-four hours later, on Thursday, Florida’s top insurance chief submitted his resignation to Gov. Ron DeSantis.
In a letter, Altmaier referenced the latest reforms saying they have “safeguarded Florida’s insurance consumers while keeping our insurance markets viable.”
Instantly, Twitter reacted.
CFO Jimmy Patronis tweeted Altmaier “has been a steady hand .. during challenging times.”
But some Democrats immediately criticized his departure.
Jackson Peel, the Communications Director for the Florida House reps tweeted: “What do you think will be announced first: the next insurance company leaves Florida’s collapsing market or his new high-paying job in the insurance industry?”
Off Twitter, some industry insiders claim Altmaier may be stepping down before a new lobbying law takes effect.
8 On Your Side emailed and called Altmaier’s office to get his side.
As of Friday evening, we haven’t heard back. Altmaier’s last day is December 28th.
Notably, that’s four days before the state extends a lobbying ban that would apply to him.
Under current law, former agency heads are banned from lobbying for two years.
The new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, extends that ban to six years.
Altmaier is not the only official to leave before this new lobbying law. The Department of Economic Opportunity Secretary Dane Eagle is also leaving his post.