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Commissioner Jim L. Ridling


Jim L. Ridling, a native Arkansan who has lived and worked in Montgomery for more than 20 years, was first appointed Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Alabama in 2008 by former Governor Bob Riley. Continuing in that role after Governor Riley left office, Commissioner Ridling was reappointed by Governor Robert Bentley on January 17, 2011. He is a graduate of the University of the Ozarks. Upon graduation in 1967, he entered a management training program with Fireman’s Fund Insurance, leading to several management positions and culminating in his service as Executive Vice President of U.S. Operations, based in California.

In 1987, Commissioner Ridling embraced a new challenge, leaving California to come back to his native South. He exchanged his interest in American Express (which owned Fireman’s Fund at the time) for ownership in Southern Guaranty Insurance Companies, a Fireman’s Fund subsidiary headquartered in Montgomery where he served as its President and Chief Executive Officer. The following year, Southern Guaranty sold to Winterthur Swiss. Commissioner Ridling maintained his previous position in the company as well as adding the duties of Chairman until his retirement on December 31, 2003.

Following his retirement from Southern Guaranty, Commissioner Ridling remained active. He and other local business leaders formed River Bank and Trust, where he serves today as its Vice Chairman. He has also been an integral part of many community, civic and charitable endeavors.

Commissioner Ridling served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Jackson Hospital and on the Boards of Directors of the Montgomery Airport Authority, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce and the Central Alabama Community Foundation. He is a former Chairman of the River Region United Way.

He is married to the former Cathy Turner. He has two daughters – Erin Ridling and the late Hannah Ridling.