The Department of Homeland Security’s OIG released a report stating that the federal government overpaid for disaster recovery after hurricanes in Florida by potentially $177.2 million. The audit tracked payments made following seven hurricanes in Florida from 2004-2005. The OIG found that the Florida department of FEMA that handled the disaster claims “did an inadequate job reviewing insurance plans, providing funds for damages that insurance should have covered.” The audit also concluded that the Florida Recovery Office knew that private insurance should have covered more, but did not correct the problem.

It is unknown if the government can be repaid since so much time has passed since the hurricanes. Another problem that could plague Florida is that FEMA’s insurance specialists allowed many communities to waive the requirement to obtain and maintain insurance for future disasters. This means there may be no money available if another disaster hits those same communities.

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