The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety has awarded Alabama Insurance Commissioner Jim Ridling with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement in Resilience Award.
With Alabama experiencing devastating impacts from severe weather, Ridling has been instrumental in implementing practices identified by IBHS business science researchers to help homes across the state better withstand severe weather. According to IBHS, Alabama now leads the nation in resilient construction practices.
Ridling was appointed insurance commissioner by Gov. Bob Riley in 2008 and reappointed to that post by Gov. Robert Bentley in 2011 and current Gov. Kay Ivey in 2017. A graduate of the University of the Ozarks, Ridling got his start in the insurance business with Fireman’s Fund Insurance, leading to several management positions and culminating as executive vice president U.S. operations, based in California. He left California to head back south, becoming an owner in Southern Guaranty, a Fireman’s Fund subsidiary, headquartered in Montgomery, where he served as president and chief executive officer. The following year, Southern Guaranty was sold to Winterthur Swiss, but Ridling remained in his CEO role and added the duties of chairman until his retirement at the end of 2003.
Following his retirement, he and other local business leaders helped form River Bank & Trust, and he still serves on its board. He also served on numerous boards and charitable entities.
The IBHS mission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective actions to strengthen homes, businesses and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss.