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Special Report: Lessons Learned from Previous Audit Reports on Insurance under the Public Assistance Program

Executive Summary

We prepared this special report to address challenges FEMA, Texas, Florida, U.S. territories in the Caribbean, and California may face managing insurance under the Public Assistance program in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the October 2017 California wildfires. This report describes lessons learned from findings and recommendations contained in our DHS OIG grant audit reports issued from fiscal years 2013–2017. During fiscal years 2013–2017, we issued 37 Disaster Assistance grant audit reports that disclosed challenges with FEMA’s Public Assistance insurance process. The major recurring challenges we identified included (1) Duplicate benefits in which subrecipients claimed FEMA reimbursement for costs that were covered by insurance; (2) Insufficient insurance in which subrecipients did not obtain and maintain sufficient insurance coverage required as a condition for receiving Federal disaster assistance; and (3) Misapplied or misallocated insurance proceeds in which subrecipients received insurance proceeds, and misapplied or did not allocate those proceeds to FEMA projects.

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