Canadian Underwriter

IBC compiles database of VINs for flood-damaged vehicles

August 6, 2013  

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The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) and its member insurance companies have compiled a database of flooded vehicles that have been reported and branded as non-repairable due to flooding across southern Alberta and the Greater Toronto Area.

Read: Toronto flooding could be one of city’s costliest CATs

According to the IBC, severe weather events, such as heavy rainfall, are getting more intense and are leaving communities under water and creating scores of flood-damaged vehicles. With water-damaged electronic components, potential mould and other issues, flooded vehicles are unsafe and are not legally allowed to be placed on the road, reminds the Bureau.

Read: Floods dominate CAT losses for first half of 2013

“In the aftermath of a flooding event, fraudsters may attempt to cleanup and resell storm-damaged vehicles to unsuspecting consumers. This new free VIN Verify Service on helps to protect consumers by allowing them to check whether a vehicle has been reported as flood damaged and non-repairable by participating IBC member insurance companies,” says Rick Dubin, Vice-President of Investigative Services at IBC.

“Canadians should be cautious when a deal seems too good to be true and should report any suspicious vehicles to IBC through our tips reporting program at 1-877-IBC-TIPS or through the web at,” adds Dubin.

Read: Intact boosting home insurance premiums this fall

When considering a private purchase of a used vehicle, you should consider doing a search of the vehicle through IBC’s VIN verify service as well as ordering a full vehicle history search and having the vehicle fully inspected by a known mechanic to ensure that it is not a flood related or even stolen vehicle.

Read: How insurers rank for auto claims experience

This activity of reselling flood-damaged vehicles occurs frequently after severe weather events in Canada and in the U.S. It is something everyone should be aware of at all times, especially after major catastrophic events where fraudsters are looking for opportunities to take advantage of consumers.

Click here to visit the IBC’s VIN Verify Service

The Terms and Conditions for using the VIN Verify Service are set out on the website.

  • There may be other vehicles which have been reported as flooded which are not included in this database.
  • It is possible that a vehicle was incorrectly reported and has not been removed from this database.
  • It is possible that there are vehicles with duplicate VINs and/or VINs incorrectly entered.

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See also:

FSCO launches insurance fraud hotline

Can overland flood ever become insurable in Canada?



This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.