Allen Kerr Resigns as Arkansas Insurance Commissioner

Allen Kerr Resigns as Arkansas Insurance Commissioner
Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr (Karen E. Segrave)

Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Allen Kerr announced Wednesday that he will resign, effective March 27, to pursue opportunities in the private sector. 

"It has been the greatest honor of my life to serve as state insurance commissioner under Gov. [Asa] Hutchinson these last five years,” he said in a news release. “Today, Arkansas is the destination for the insurance industry known as a place where a company can come and do honest business without being overregulated.”

The Arkansas Department of Commerce will begin working immediately with the governor to look at candidates to replace Kerr, according to Spokesperson Alisha Curtis.

During his tenure as commissioner, Kerr recruited 110 new insurance companies to do business in the state, increased annual revenue to the state by $84.25 million, increased licensures 67.6%, and tripled the amount of captive insurers in the state, according to the release. 

Under Kerr, the Arkansas Insurance Department also took responsibility for the Arkansas Health Insurance Marketplace.  

In its first year of operation under AID, Marketplace enrollment increased year-to-year for the first time since 2016. Over $13 million in combined savings to taxpayers and policyholders were realized due to the elimination of user fees charged to insurance carriers, according to the release. 

Kerr previously served three terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives, where he was chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Retirement & Social Security Programs and served on a variety of other committees, subcommittees and task forces, including the State & Public Schools’ Life & Health Insurance Program Legislative Task Force.

He has over three decades of experience in insurance and financial services.

Kerr opened the Allen Kerr Insurance Agency in March 1981. In 2013, the agency was purchased by Delta Trust & Bank, which was later purchased by Simmons Bank. The agency became Simmons First Insurance, with Kerr serving as president.

He was appointed Arkansas insurance commissioner on Jan. 13, 2015, by Gov. Asa Hutchinson.