The Florida Insurance Fraud Education Committee (FIFEC) began its formal existence as the DIF/SIU Annual Training Seminar representing the Florida Department of Insurance’s Division of Insurance Fraud and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) community in 1992 at Altamonte Springs. This was the result of several conversations starting in Baltimore at the IASIU Seminar in 1991 between Frank Doolittle, the Director of the Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF), and the leadership of the Central and South Florida SIU Chapters, the only existing SIU Chapters at the time. Given the rapid growth of the SIUs within the insurance industry and with DIF, it was believed that the two groups, the DIF and the SIU community, should establish a formal networking and training relationship. The 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.
This seminar has subsequently been held each year since 1992. It has since been co-hosted by the DIF with Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Jacksonville in 1993; back in Altamonte Springs with State Farm in 1994; at the Radisson in Orlando in 1995 with the Central and South Florida Chapters of the International Association of Special Investigations Units (IASIU); and with Nationwide in 1996.
In 1997, it was determined that the DIF/SIU Seminar had grown far too large an endeavor for a single SIU. Also, by that time, the North Florida Chapter of the IASIU was established, so the leadership of the three IASIU Chapters and the Director of DIF decided to form FIFEC, a nonprofit organization specifically established to direct the mission and operations of the seminar each year. From 1997 through 2003, it was held at the Hyatt at the Orlando International Airport. However, in 2004, with the attendance increasing and more classes being offered, it was necessary to move the conference to the Caribe Royale Convention Center, Orlando, Florida.
In 2006, two additional Florida IASIU Chapters, the Southwest Florida and the Orlando Chapters, were chartered and joined FIFEC. At that time, FIFEC’s leadership decided to amend the Articles of Incorporation and replace the Operating Agreement with formal Bylaws under which FIFEC has since operated. The FIFEC seminar grew to over 500 attendees in 2010, over 700 attendees in 2012, and in 2014 and 2015 over 1,000 individuals were present to celebrate our 22nd and 23rd years. FIFEC has offered continuous annual training seminars for DIF and SIU investigators, other law enforcement officers, prosecutors, insurance carrier adjusters and management, insurance defense attorneys and others in the ongoing fight to combat all forms of insurance fraud.
To safeguard the safety and wellbeing of our conference attendees and the Caribe Royale Staff, in 2020 and 2021, the FIFEC Board made the difficult, but correct decisions, to cancel those conferences due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. In 2022, the annual conference resumed welcoming over 750 participants in time to mark FIFEC’s 30th Anniversary.