Special insurance industry teams will be assisting Gulf Coast law enforcement and insurers in identifying and cataloging vehicles damaged by Hurricane Katrina to prevent their fraudulent resale to unsuspecting consumers in the future.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) in Palos Hills, Ill., is dispatching special catastrophe teams to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama. The effort is expected to last from six months to a year.
Authorities estimate that thousands of vehicles have been damaged by flooding in the New Orleans area alone. That number is expected to grow as claims from Mississippi are processed.
Unscrupulous salvage operators and dealers often try to conceal the fact that vehicles have been damaged by a natural disaster from potential buyers.
In addition to vehicles, NICB is also alerting disaster victims to be aware of the potential for fraud that exists as efforts to repair and rebuild get underway.
NICB is a non-profit organization committed to fighting insurance fraud and vehicle theft on behalf of its member companies, their policyholders and the general public through investigations, information analysis, training and awareness.
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