- Jun 8, 2015
Beware of flood-damaged used vehicles from Texas
Record Rains Spawn Epic Floods Of Texas's Blanco RiverThe recent flooding in Texas means the end of the road for an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 insured vehicles that suffered water damage.
That's the current estimate from Copart, a company that works on behalf of insurers to handle the vehicles damaged in catastrophes. About 2,500 cars, trucks, motorcycles, RVs and other vehicles have already been towed to one of Copart's locations, a 200-acre processing facility in Houston.
After a disaster, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) works with its member companies, law enforcement and companies like Copart to identify the vehicles that have had an insurance claim filed and to process them for sale. All of the cars will be retitled with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the new title will indicate the fact that the vehicle has been flood damaged. Most of the vehicles are sold to parts companies who will dismantle them and re-sell usable parts that were not damaged by the flooding.
The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is also entered into the NICB's VINCheck℠ and the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) database.
Texas Gulf Coast Prepares For Hurricane IkeNICB's VINCheck allows car buyers to see whether a vehicle has ever been declared as "salvage" or a total loss by an NICB member that participates in the program. Insurers representing about 88 percent of the personal auto insurance market provide their salvage data to the program. It also alerts users if a vehicle has been stolen and is still unrecovered. VINCheck is a free public service.
Texas Gulf Coast Prepares For Hurricane IkeKeeping damaged cars out of the hands of unsuspecting buyers is a major focus of the industry. Unfortunately, some of the flooded vehicles may be purchased at bargain prices, cleaned up, and then taken out of state where the VIN is switched and the car is retitled with no indication it has been damaged.
Tropical Weather Hurricane DollyNICB warns that buyers be particularly careful in the weeks and months after a major catastrophe. Vehicles that were not insured may be cleaned up and put up for sale by the owner or an unscrupulous dealer with no disclosure of the flood damage.
Severe WeatherCars remain stranded along a flooded section of Interstate 45 after heavy rains overnight in Houston, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Several major highways are closed in the Houston area due to high water.
US-WEATHER-FLOODVehicles are left stranded on Interstate 45 in Houston, Texas on May 26, 2015. Heavy rains throught Texas put the city of Houston under massive amounts of water, closing roadways and trapping residents in their cars and buildings, according to local reports. Rainfall reached up to 11 inches (27.9cm) in some parts of the state, according to national forecasters, and the heavy rains quickly pooled over the state's already saturated soil.
Weird WeatherIn this May 29, 2015 file photo, cars sit in floodwaters along Interstate 45 after heavy overnight rain flooded parts of the highway in Houston. Even for a world getting used to wild weather, May seems stuck on strange. Torrential downpours in Texas, whiplashing the region from drought to flooding. A heatwave that has already killed more than 1800 in India and is the fifth deadliest since 1900. Record 91 degree temperature in of all places Alaska. A pair of top-of-the-scale typhoons in the Northwest Pacific. And a drought in the U.S. East is starting to take root just as the one ends in Texas.
Severe WeatherIn this aerial photo, a truck sits in floodwaters near Bear Creek Park Saturday, May 30, 2015, in Houston, Texas. The Colorado River in Wharton and the Brazos and San Jacinto rivers near Houston are the main focus of concern as floodwaters moved from North and Central Texas downstream toward the Gulf of Mexico.
Severe WeatherAn flood abandoned vehicle is covered in flood debris Tuesday, May 26, 2015, in downtown Houston. Heavy rain overnight caused flooding and closure of sections of highways in the Houston area.
Severe WeatherDomingo Molina, right, paddles with his granddaughters Crystal, left, and Alicia, center, down a flooded street in Houston, Tuesday, May 26, 2015. Heavy rain overnight caused flooding and closure of sections of highways in the Houston area.
Flooding isn't just a problem in Texas. Pouring rain created a flash flood along Commercial Street in Portland, Maine, Thursday, May 28, 2015, burying cars halfway up their wheels.