The Nevada Insurance Council is a non-profit, non-lobbying organization representing the property and casualty insurance industry in Nevada. NIC is dedicated to informing consumers and the media about the insurance business, automotive safety, homeowners insurance and related topics.
By educating consumers about the role that insurance plays in their lives, NIC helps consumers protect themselves and save money by choosing insurance products that best fit their needs.
Insurers Strengthen Nevada’s Economy
Las Vegas Holds Training Seminar To Identify Auto Arson Fraud
Last Friday, in a training seminar sponsored by Western States Auto Theft Investigators, insurance investigators were given a rare chance to observe a vehicle that was intentionally set on fire, simulating the actions of an arson.
Michael Geeser, a member of the Nevada Insurance Council, said the last time the class took place was a decade ago, when the country was mired in the recession and Nevada was leading in insurance fraud.
“When the unemployment rate is really high, it all goes hand in hand,” Geeser said. “We call it ‘owner give-ups,’ where people light their own car on fire to try to get one over on insurance companies.”
Part of the seminar included investigators looking at already-burned cars and determining where that fire started and why.
“We were able to look for tell-tale signs if a crime was committed,” Geeser said.
To read the full article by the Las Vegas Review Journal, CLICK HERE.
Nevada Insurance Council (NIC) Offers Tips On Identifying Flood-Damaged Cars
LAS VEGAS, September 7, 2017 – Due to the extremely large numbers of trucks and cars damaged by recent hurricanes, people should take extra care when purchasing a used vehicle, according to the Nevada Insurance Council (NIC). Although some flood-damaged cars and trucks are clearly identifiable, others may be unfit to drive and offered for sale to unsuspecting consumers.
“We see this every time a major flood hits anywhere in the nation,” said Michael Geeser, president of the Nevada Insurance Council (NIC). “Vehicles appear in Nevada that were deemed total losses in another state and buyers have no idea that the car or truck was flooded.”
Geeser noted that the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has a website that allows people to enter a vehicle identification number (VIN) to see if a vehicle has ever been declared as “salvage” or a total loss by an NICB member that participates in the program. NICB member companies write 94 percent of personal car and truck insurer premiums. The website, www.nicb.org/vincheck, can be accessed by anyone for free.
“The NIC always encourages used car buyers to check out a vehicle using this website, but with hundreds of thousands of cars and trucks damaged by recent storms, we believe taking this step will be even more important in coming months,” Geeser stated.
“All of the flood-damaged vehicles declared a total loss by insurers are retitled with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the new title indicates that the vehicle has been flood damaged. These vehicles are then sold at auction, primarily to parts companies who dismantle them and re-sell usable parts that were not damaged by the flooding,” Geeser said. However, Geeser cautioned that in some cases, vehicles that were uninsured may be simply cleaned up by their owners and sold with no disclosure concerning their flood damage.
“Being a cautious consumer is always a good idea, both for your safety and for your wallet,” Geeser stressed. “If you are in doubt, get a good mechanic to look over the vehicle before you buy. Some gambles are not worth taking.”
The Nevada Insurance Council is a non-profit organization representing the property and casualty insurance industry in Nevada. NIC is dedicated to informing consumers and the media about the insurance business, automotive safety, and homeowner’s insurance and related topics. For more information, visit www.NevadaInsuranceCouncil.com.
Auto Insurance Bills Increase Along With Economy
Amidst a flourishing economy, auto insurance rates have seen an increase nation-wide. The Las Vegas Review Journal wrote an article concerning this change, which included an interview with NIC Chairman Michael Geeser:
“The economy picks up, more people are driving, gas prices go up, insurance rates go up,” Geeser said. “It goes hand in hand. You take the good with the bad.”
You can read the full article here.
Nevada Bill Regarding Total Loss Thresholds Removed From Table
NIC Chairman Robert Compan was recently interviewed for an article regarding important insurance legislation:
“It has everything to do with whether a car gets branded with a title. “If you have to put safe titles on the cars, you would be putting a lot of unsafe vehicles on the road. Most people don’t understand. It’s not a body shop issue, it’s not an insurance issue. It’s a titling issue,” said Compan.
You can read the full article here.
Nevada Insurance Council Offers Homeowners Tips On Flood Damage
LAS VEGAS, January 7, 2017 – Due to expected flooding in Northern Nevada this weekend, many people might be left wondering what damage will be covered by their insurance policies. The Nevada Insurance Council, a nonprofit consumer education organization, wants to help consumers understand how insurance policies work.
“The first step is to contact your insurance company or read your policy to see if you have flood insurance. Many people do not realize that flood insurance is provided as separate coverage under homeowners and renters policies,” said Michael Geeser, president of the Nevada Insurance Council (NIC). “It is not automatically included with such policies.”
Geeser noted that after a major flood, individual insurance companies also typically set up emergency claim centers on site to help policyholders.
If you are a victim of a flood, inspect your home for damage, especially for cracks in foundations. Take pictures of damaged property and keep notes. Then, contact your insurance agent, Geeser said.
Although flood insurance is available through insurance companies, policies are underwritten and issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency)
Contacts for flood safety and insurance information include:
– National Flood Insurance Program (888)CALL-FLOOD
“By helping consumers understand what is covered by their policies and what is not, it’s our hope that the process will be as easy as possible to get people on the road to recovery,” Geeser noted.
Nevada Insurance Council Advises Caution When Driving in Rain
In Las Vegas, rain can cause hundreds of accidents within a few hours as drivers unfamiliar with wet road conditions collide on our busy roads. To help drivers cope with the expected rain over the next few days, the Nevada Insurance Council compiled a list of safe driving tips for wet conditions.
“Many people are unaware of just how dangerous wet roads can be,” said Michael Geeser, president of the Nevada Insurance Council (NIC). “Especially in southern Nevada, where weather rarely affects driving conditions, many drivers are unfamiliar with the steps they should take when driving on wet roads.”
The NIC advises drivers to:
1. Slow down. Safely stopping and steering takes longer on wet roads.
2. Avoid slamming on your breaks. To maintain road traction, slow down by first easing off the gas pedal.
3. Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of you. Give yourself time to react to upcoming traffic signals or turns. Increase the “three second rule” when driving on wet roads.
4. Avoid sharp turns. Ease off the gas, break slowly, turn, and then accelerate.
5. Wet roads can cause hydroplaning, which happens when the car is driving on a film of water instead of on the roadbed. If your car begins to skid, continue steering in the direction you want to go and ease off the gas. Do not slam on your breaks.
6. Turn on your headlights. They not only help you see better, they help other drivers see you.
7. When possible, use the middle lanes and drive in the tracks of vehicles in front of you. Do not follow buses or large trucks so closely that the spray from their tires affects your visibility.
8. Do not use cruise control. Using cruise control requires breaking to slow down and reduces the driver’s options.
The NIC also noted that cars should be properly maintained for driving in the rain. Tires need adequate tread to channel water on wet roads; windshield wipers need to be replaced annually and checked to make sure that they work properly; headlights, turn signals, and taillights need to be working; and defrosters should be operational.
NIC President Michael Geeser Discusses Flood Damage in Reno
“The good news for most people who have suffered flood damage, if you live in a flood zone and you own your home, you have flood insurance.”
“Flood insurance is mandatory in designated flood zones, and homeowners buy it as part of their mortgage in Northern Nevada. It covers almost everything.”
FEMA Offers Tips on Preparing for Wildfires
According to America’s PrepareAthon! the best action to protect yourself and your family when a wildfire threatens your area is to evacuate.
To ensure you will be able to evacuate quickly, you need to plan ahead. America’s PrepareAthon! offers these tips for a safe evacuation, including:
- Know your community’s local evacuation plan and identify several escape routes for your location in case roads are blocked; include plans to evacuate people with disabilities and others with access or functional needs, as well as pets, service animals, and livestock;
- Make a list of items you need or want to take with you. Be sure to remember the Five P’s Of Evacuation: People, Prescriptions, Papers, Personal Needs, and Priceless Items; and
- If you will evacuate by car, keep your car fueled and in good condition. Keep emergency supplies and a change of clothes in your car.
When driving away from a fire:
- Roll up windows and close air vents because smoke from a fire can irritate your eyes and respiratory system;
- Drive slowly with your headlights on because smoke can reduce visibility;
- Watch for other vehicles, pedestrians, and fleeing animals; and
- Avoid driving through heavy smoke, if possible.
For more information about preparing for wildfires, download How to Prepare for Wildfire
Download FEMA’s mobile app today to receive safety reminders, alerts from the National Weather Service, and more.
Talk to Agent Now, Not After Wildfire Strikes
Michael Geeser advises those who live in wildfire areas to inventory their belongings and check with their insurance agent to make sure they’re covered if wildfire strikes.