As insurance claims continue to stream in, estimates for the number of vehicles damaged by Hurricane Sandy continue to rise.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau said earlier this week that revised estimates for the number of vehicles damaged as a result of Sandy has hit the 230,000 mark.
And not surprisingly, vehicles in New York and New Jersey make up an overwhelming number of these damaged units.
New York had the most vehicles affected by the storm with 130,000 while New Jersey generated 60,000 claims, according to NICB data.
The remaining 40,000 were reported from up-and-down the East coast, from Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.
But not all of these vehicles are full losses, officials noted.
“It is important to note that these are preliminary figures and may change as additional claims are received and processed. Moreover, there is no determination as to the extent of damage to these vehicles. They could have sustained minor paint scratches from flying debris, or have been under water for days and rendered total losses,” NICB officials said.
That said, the Bureau cautioned consumers to be aware that some of the severely damaged vehicles may appear advertised for sale without any indication that they were at all affected by Sandy and to be aware of this fact when buying used.
Industry Response to Flood-Damaged Vehicles
Though the possibility of flood-damaged vehicles making their way back on to the lots and the lanes after a natural disaster such as Hurricane Sandy is certainly an issue, the industry is taking extreme measures to protect consumers, said Black Book’s Ricky Beggs in his latest “Beggs on the Used Car Market” video report.
This week, National Auto Auction Association president-elect Jack Neshe and NAAA president Paul Lips joined Black Book’s Ricky Beggs during the video report, and Beggs touched on the devastation Hurricane Sandy wreaked on the East coast and dealerships in the affected areas.
Neshe, the ADESA Boston general manager, said though his auction “weathered the storm very well,” others were not so lucky.
“New York and New Jersey and some of the other Eastern states suffered some heavy losses in vehicles and property, and I think with the heavy losses that they suffered, it is going to create a demand for vehicles and rising values. And we are going to have to be more diligent than ever to watch for flood-damaged vehicles and what goes through the lanes,” Neshe said.
Beggs, as well as the NAAA leaders, also stressed that the industry is very involved in making sure these flood-damaged vehicles do not make it back into the lanes, and that protecting consumers is a priority.