Mother Nature’s latest assault did a real number on vehicles that were caught in its track. Superstorm Sandy flooded cars in rain and seawater, pounded them against trees and debris, and set some on fire. Now that the storm has passed, the damage is being tallied and according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the number comes in at around 230,000 damaged cars.
The breakdown on what areas were the hardest hit is as follows: New Yorkers sustained the highest damage, reporting 130,000 insurance claims. New Jersey residents reported 60,000, while the other 40,000 cars hailed from 13 states including Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.
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The NICB, which is a non-profit, anti-fraud group, hasn’t yet assessed the financial losses caused by the damage. The company explained the cars “could have sustained minor paint scratches from flying debris, or have been under water for days and rendered total losses.”
With such a huge number of damaged cars there is a good chance that some of these vehicles might be sold to unsuspecting buyers living several states away. The NICB press release warns used car consumers “to be aware that severely damaged vehicles may appear advertised for sale without any indication that they were at all affected by Sandy .” To make sure you don’t fall into a trap and buy a covered-up flood damaged car, check out our list on how to spot one of these vehicles when buying.