The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) says progress is being made in identifying and removing thousands of vehicles damaged beyond repair by Sandy. The estimate of 230,000 insurance claims for vehicle damage in the areas affected by Sandy remains unchanged at this time. Many of those vehicles were flooded and are being towed to holding areas where they will be loaded on car haulers and taken to facilities to be crushed.
On Dec. 5th, NICB officials visited holding areas in Brooklyn where more than 7,000 new vehicles awaiting delivery to dealerships had been parked when Sandy flooded the area with more than three feet of water. All but 800 cars had been removed. The vehicles suffered extensive damage as the wind and water shoved them into each other and flooded their electronic systems, damaging them beyond repair.
“New York City Police and the other law enforcement agencies around the area were understandably focusing on other emergencies and disaster efforts initially,” said NICB New York Region Operations Director Thomas Lohmann. “Now they have begun to address the issue of dealing with thousands of flooded and damaged vehicles, and they are doing an outstanding job of getting these vehicles towed to holding areas where they can be identified and accounted for prior to being scrapped. They are also going after towing companies that have taken cars off the street without permission, and are submitting outrageous towing and storage bills to insurance companies. Some may be holding the vehicles in an attempt to increase storage fees, or actually claim title to the vehicle after it sits at their facility for an extended time.”