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About 250,000 Vehicles Damaged or Destroyed by Superstorm Sandy

Experts warn of potential fraud as scammers try to re-sell damaged vehicles.

by on Feb.22, 2013

If you're not careful, someone might try to sell you one of these vehicles damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

Massive piles of debris have yet to be removed from some of the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy, and it could be years before the damage is fully totaled up, never mind repaired, but adjusters have come up with a fairly conclusive tally of the automotive impact, an insurance industry trade group reporting that 250,500 vehicles were damaged or destroyed when the disaster hit the East Coast last October.

About 150,000 of those were in New York, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which serves a major group of insurance companies. That’s actually an increase since an earlier estimate of about 130,000 in the Empire State.

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And even the latest list may underestimate the extent of the damage, warns a statement from the NICB which says, “These are insured losses only. There are certainly many uninsured vehicles that were damaged by Sandy and those numbers are not reflected in this information.”  It’s not clear if vehicles that aren’t covered by insurance companies that aren’t members of the trade group were also left out of the new count.


Superstorm Likely to Hit New, Used Car Buyers in the Wallet

But you could get more for your trade-in over the coming months.

by on Oct.31, 2012

Cars float out of a flooded garage in Manhattan after Superstorm Sandy drove record floodwaters into the city. Photo courtesy Ray Wert, Jalopnik.

With much of the Eastern Seaboard still digging out and drying out from Superstorm Sandy estimates now put the damage at anywhere up to $50 billion, perhaps more.  But in the weeks to come, even consumers as far away as the West Coast could feel the pinch.

That is likely to be especially true for car buyers.  Early estimates suggest that tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of vehicles were damaged to the point they will need to be replaced.  And that is likely to drive up prices for both new and used vehicles in the weeks and months ahead, experts warn.

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If there’s a positive side for consumers it could mean better prices for those looking to trade in a car. For the industry, it’s likely to add even more momentum to the U.S. automotive market’s ongoing recovery.


Superstorm Sandy Could Impact Unsuspecting Used Car Buyers.

How to avoid a flood-damaged car – and what to do if it’s yours.

by on Oct.30, 2012

Could some of these flooded cars wind up back on the market?

It could be days, even weeks, before the storm-battered Eastern Seaboard dries out.  Brutal winds and extensive flooding, from Maine to the Carolinas, has wrecked homes and businesses, and left millions without power, even the New York subway system forced to close.

The destruction is likely to include thousands of vehicles damaged or destroyed by floodwater. In some cases, vehicles can be repaired. But many will have suffered extensive, irreparable damage and should be scrapped.  That doesn’t mean they will be.

If recent history is any indication, a number of seriously flood-damaged vehicles will wind up on used car lots and sold to unsuspecting consumers. Experts say half of the vehicles damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Floyd were put back on the road.

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“A car that’s been in a flood, with the engine submerged for any length of time, will never be the same,” said Carl Sullivan, who has nearly two decades of experience inspecting vehicles for AiM, a California-based team of auto inspectors.  “It’s important for used car shoppers to know how to spot flood damage no matter where they live, because these cars can end up on a dealer lot anywhere in the country.”