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N.M. Insurance Superintendent Resigns

May 6, 2010

New Mexico Insurance Superintendent Morris “Mo” Chavez tendered his resignation to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on May 4.

Chavez, who served as superintendent since October 2006, said he reached his decision after deliberating with his family. His letter did not cite specific reasons for resigning. In January, Chavez was placed on paid administrative leave pending investigation of what was described as a personal matter.

The commission moved quickly to appoint an interim replacement, elevating Deputy Superintendent Thomas Rushton to the post.

Last year, Chavez approved a 10.7 percent increase in title insurance rates and was expected tor rule on a proposed reduction of rates this year. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King has asked the insurance superintendent to reduce title insurance rates by 13.8 percent. Underwriters are seeking a rate increase of potentially 17 percent, the New Mexico Land Title Association is seeking an increase of potentially 4.6 percent and the Insurance Division staff seeks a decrease of 5.6 percent.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Chavez’s resignation will not impact the association’s Title Insurance Task Force. Chavez served as chair of the task force. Rushton assumes the chair until a permanent replacement is selected. Alan Seely, chief property/casualty actuary for the New Mexico Insurance Division, has been conducting meetings and setting the agendas. He will continue to serve in this capacity.

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