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.