MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — Alabama Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling will retire after 14 years of service, according to an announcement from Governor Kay Ivey.

Ridling is the state’s longest-serving insurance commissioner ever – and the longest-serving appointed commissioner in the United States.

“I am deeply blessed to have had the wonderful experience of serving the people of Alabama as Commissioner of Insurance. I am especially appreciative of Governor Kay Ivey for her leadership and all she has done for the people of our great state,” said Commissioner Ridling. “Serving in her administration has been an honor and a pleasure.”

Ridling was first appointed as insurance commissioner in 2008 by Governor Bob Riley. He was reappointed by Governor Robert Bentley in 2011, and by Governor Kay Ivey in 2017.

“I also appreciate, so much, the work of the dedicated and professional state employees who staff the Department of Insurance. They are amazing!” Ridling continued. “We have done some great things together, and I know we will all be able to look back on these years with pride.”

During his tenure, Ridling led his department to reaccreditation by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) three times. He also established the Strengthen Alabama Homes (SAH) program, created the Insurance Fraud Bureau, and recruited more than a dozen new property insurance companies for Alabama’s coastal communities.

Just last month, Ridling received the Lifetime Achievement in Resilience award from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.

“Jim has kept stability in the agency, all while bringing fresh ideas to ensure our state was offering our people the best, whether that be in times of natural disaster or simply in our day-to-day lives,” said Ivey. “I am truly grateful Jim dedicated so many years to the state of Alabama and wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

Deputy Commissioner Mark Fowler will serve as acting commissioner, according to Ivey. His tenure begins on July 1.