FEMA Public Assistance Appeal: Duplication of Benefits – Insurance
PA ID# 117-UWTYU-00; Seminole Community College
Facts: The Applicant submitted a second appeal, arguing that its agreement with Florida College System Risk Management Consortium was a means to pool funds with other colleges, not an insurance policy, and any payments received from FCSRMC were the Applicant’s own money. The FEMA Region IV Regional Administrator denied the appeal. FEMA found that FCSRMC acted as an insurer and was obligated to reimburse the Applicant for any costs exceeding a $10,000.00 deductible, which FEMA had already reimbursed under another PW; any additional Public Assistance funding for the project was a duplication of benefits.
Conclusion: The terms of the Applicant’s agreement with Florida College System Risk Management Consortium demonstrate that it is an insurance pool. Approval of additional PA funding would constitute a duplication of benefits and is prohibited by the Stafford Act. The appeal is denied.
Headnote: FEMA cannot provide assistance for disaster-related losses that would duplicate benefits available to an applicant from another source, including insurance. When two or more entities agree to share risk under a contractual agreement, FEMA defines the agreement as an insurance pool.
- The policy with FCSRMC is a contractual agreement that indemnifies the Applicant in the event of loss by obligating FCSRMC to provide payment for damages.
- Consequently, FEMA’s reduction of funding under PW 773 was proper, as FCSRMC was responsible for reimbursing the Applicant’s costs to repair disaster-related damages, including the costs on appeal.