• Florida Automobile Insurance Fraud Strike Force Holds Inaugural Meeting
  • August 15, 2012
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass Talenfeld Karlinsky Abate Webb P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Office
  • The Florida Department of Financial Services' Automobile Insurance Fraud Strike Force ("Strike Force") held its first meeting yesterday, August 7, 2012, in Tallahassee, Florida.

    The Strike Force was created by the Florida Legislature in 2012 and its purpose, structure, and authority are set forth in Section 626.9895, F.S.   The sole purpose of the Strike Force is to support the prosecution, investigation, and prevention of motor vehicle insurance fraud.   Members of the Strike Force include representatives from the insurance, law enforcement, and health care industries, State attorneys, and lawyers.

    Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater provided brief opening remarks.  He welcomed everyone and noted this meeting is merely organizational in nature to set up the Strike Force, the focus of which is to ensure consumers are getting the value of recent legislative changes to the Personal Injury Protection ("PIP") insurance system.

    Yesterday's meeting included a review of the Florida Sunshine Law and public records requirements, the authorizing statute, and the Contract and By-Laws.   The Strike Force is being set up as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.  A review of the steps necessary to qualify as a tax-exempt entity was provided.  Further, the Contract was signed and officers were appointed.

    Florida Division of Insurance Fraud Director Dan Anderson provided an overview of the Division's activities.  Notably, arrests for PIP fraud have increased significantly in the last year.

    CFO Atwater appointed Pete Antinochi as Chair of the Strike Force.  Donovan Brown, Property and Casualty Insurers Association of America's Florida Counsel and Regional Manager, was elected as Vice Chairman of the Strike Force, and Lauren Facemire was elected Treasurer.  The Strike Force By-Laws and Contract were adopted without objection.   

    The next meeting will be scheduled at a time to be determined, likely in December 2012.