August 6, 2013
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.
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.
“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 ibc.ca 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 www.ibc.ca,” adds Dubin.
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.
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.
The Terms and Conditions for using the VIN Verify Service are set out on the website.
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This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.