In an unusually confrontational confirmation hearing, state lawmakers and an insurance reform activist grilled Ray Farmer, a former insurance lobbyist from Georgia and Gov. Nikki Haley’s choice to run the state’s insurance department.

State Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, questioned whether the state’s home insurance premiums are too high, and whether Farmer believes high premiums are a problem. Farmer responded that he didn’t think the system is broken but that the department needs to find new ways for consumers to shop for lower rates.

At one point in the hearing, Daryl Ferguson, a retired telecommunications executive from Beaufort, told lawmakers that he had studied the insurance issue for 4,000 hours and believes that Farmer doesn’t have the qualifications to lead the agency.

Senate lawmakers decided to reconvene at a later date to continue the confirmation hearing, a move several said was unusual.

Read more in tomorrow’s Post and Courier.