COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – South Carolina Department of Insurance Director (SCDOI) Ray Farmer is retiring after nine years in the role, Governor Henry McMaster announced Tuesday.

Farmer’s retirement will be effective on April 15, 2022.

“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,” said Governor McMaster. “Through innovative consumer protection policy, natural disaster education programs, and by expanding career advancement opportunities for SCDOI employees, Director Farmer has led the agency to new heights and built a strong foundation for the future. South Carolina is better because of Director Farmer’s tireless service to our people.”

Farmer was appointed to lead the department in 2012 by former Governor Nikki Haley. He remained in that role upon Governor McMaster taking office in 2018.

During that time, Farmer oversaw the adoption of the S.C. Insurance Data Security Act in 2018, the adoption of the Private Flood Insurance Act in 2020, and established the Insurance Fraud Division at SCDOI in 2021.

Director Farmer also served as the President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and served on the S.C. Floodwater Commission. 

“I would like to thank Governor McMaster for allowing me to serve the citizens of South Carolina as Director of the Department of Insurance,” Farmer said. “Under his leadership, and the leadership of his predecessor who appointed me, former Governor Haley, I can say that after 53 years in the insurance industry, this is truly the best job I’ve ever had. It has been an honor to work alongside my team of dedicated public servants for the last nine years as we strived to make life better for every consumer in the Palmetto State.”

Michael Wise, who has worked for SCDOI since 2009 and currently serves as Deputy Director of Actuarial and Market Services, will serve as Acting Director. Wise will serve until such a time the governor appoints a new director and they are confirmed by the S.C. Senate, the governor’s office released in a statement.