In 1992, at the Hilton Hotel in Altamonte Springs, the Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee (FIFEC) began its existence as the first joint DIF/SIU Annual Training Seminar. The representatives attending this seminar were from the Florida Department of Insurance, Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) community. Due to the rapid growth of the SIUs within the insurance industry, Frank Doolittle, the then-Director of the fraud division, had a vision that the SIU community and DIF should establish a formal relationship. DIF hosted this first seminar, which was actually a one-day open forum-type workshop, with no agenda other than to foster a favorable working environment between the public and private sectors involved in the fight against insurance fraud.
The earliest seminars were co-hosted by DIF and various carriers. In 1993, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida co-hosted with DIF in Jacksonville. In 1994, the seminar returned to Altamonte Springs and was hosted by DIF and State Farm Insurance Companies. In 1995 and 1996, the seminar relocated to the Radisson Hotel in Orlando. As attendance grew and the seminar evolved, the Central and South Florida Chapters of the IASIU joined with Nationwide Insurance Companies to present this popular insurance fraud training seminar. From 1997 until 2003, with the help of many carrier SIU investigators and managers volunteering their time, it was held at the Hyatt Hotel at the Orlando International Airport. Eventually, the seminar outgrew the Hyatt Hotel and in 2004 it was necessary to move to the Caribe Royale Convention Center, west of Orlando, on World Center Drive where it remains as we celebrate our 20th anniversary.
Prior to 1997, the seminar was co-hosted by DIF and an insurance carrier SIU. In 1995 and 1996, the Presidents of the two Florida Chapters of the International Association of Special Investigation Units also helped to co-host the seminar. By the end of the June 1997 seminar, it was apparent that the seminar had grown far too large an endeavor for a single SIU. Also, by that time, the North Florida Chapter of the IASIU had been established, so the leadership of the three IASIU Chapters and the Director of DIF decided to form the Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee (FIFEC), a non-profit organization specifically established to direct the operations of the seminar each year.
In 2003, the National Society of Professional Insurance Investigators was added as a Committee Member, and in 2006, two additional Florida IASIU chapters were chartered. Today, FIFEC is a non-profit corporation comprised of special investigative unit investigators, law enforcement personnel and dedicated individuals whose purpose is to organize and present an annual statewide educational seminar related to deterring, detecting, investigating and prosecuting insurance fraud. FIFEC is proud of its mission to provide insurance fraud education and training by giving grants to the law enforcement and criminal justice community that attend what is now known as the annual FIFEC Conference.