Flood-Damaged Vehicles From Hurricane Sandy Could End Up Rusting On A Used Car Lot Near You
Photo courtesy: Yahoo.com
KHQ.COM - As waters recede and lives are put
back together following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, car buyers are urged
to take precautions when buying a used vehicle in the coming months. Although
the East Coast is far from the Pacific Northwest, flood-damaged vehicles from
Hurricane Sandy that should go to the junkyard will likely end up on local car
lots to be sold by unaware car dealers to unsuspecting
Vehicles sold with pre-existing
damage are not covered under a standard Auto Insurance policy. If you
buy a used vehicle and later discover that it was damaged from being submerged
in flood waters, your Auto Insurance will not cover the cost of needed repairs.
‘flood vehicle' is defined as a vehicle that has been completely or partially
submerged in water to the extent that its mechanical components and electronic
subsystems have been damaged or destroyed," said Frank Scafidi, Director, Public
Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). "Unscrupulous people buy the vehicles, clean
them up to hide the flood damage then ship them to states unaffected by flooding
to be sold as normal used cars."
scam artists also do not disclose the damage on the title document, which is a
crime called "title washing."
have to invest some time to find a reliable used car," said Karl Newman, NW
Insurance Council president. "Checking VIN numbers is a great start, but,
whenever there is wide-spread flooding, you have to take extra precautions to
avoid getting stuck with a car that falls apart around you."
are planning to buy a used vehicle, it's important to know how to look for flood
damage. NW Insurance Council, NICB and the Insurance
Information Institute (I.I.I.) offer the following suggestions on how to
spot a flood car:
a reputable car dealer. Check with the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of
Commerce to find several in your area.
for mildew, debris and silt in places where it wouldn't normally be found, such
as under the carpeting in the trunk, or around the engine
for rust on screws and other metal parts.
for water stains or faded upholstery as well as discoloration of seat belts and
the vehicle for dampness in the floor and carpeting and moisture on the inside
of the instrument panel.
for a moldy odor or an intense smell of Lysol or deodorizer being used to cover
up an odor problem.
more information about how to spot a flood car, visit the NICB
website for more tips. Also, the National Motor Vehicle Title Information
System offers an online tool for consumers to access important vehicle
more information about insurance, contact NW Insurance Council at (800) 664-4942
or visit www.nwinsurance.org.
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