11 Floods Deluge Used Car Market With Damaged Flood Vehicles: CARCO’s Tips to Avoid Buying Flood Damaged Cars

checkthatvin-smallWith 11 major floods hitting the United States this year alone, tens of thousands of vehicles have been submerged under water, leading to potentially significant damage. Unwitting consumers are at risk of buying a flood-damaged car if they don’t follow two important tips, according to experts.                                                                 

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB.org), “unknowingly buying a flood-damaged vehicle may put you and your family in physical and financial danger. A vehicle’s electronic systems are often destroyed from prolonged exposure to water rendering many of its safety features inoperable.”

CARCO experts note that two simple tips can protect consumers from significant issues down the road.  While misrepresenting a flood-damaged vehicle as undamaged is illegal, it happens all too often.

“If a deal looks too good, be careful,” said James Owens, CEO and President of leading pre-insurance auto inspection company CARCO.  “Before buying a vehicle, you should physically inspect it and run a ‘CheckThatVIN’ report, which relies on the most comprehensive online database of vehicles, which was created by federal law.”

Have the vehicle inspected or inspect the vehicle yourself.

  • Look for water marks behind the rugs in the cabin and trunk.
  • Look for rust in the engine compartment.
  • Check for musty odors in the cabin and trunk.
  • Check the wheel wells for signs of submersion.
  • Check that electrical wires are flexible and not brittle or cracking.
  • Was the vehicle parked in a location that had recent flooding?

Run a NMVTIS CheckThatVIN report.

The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) was designed to protect prospective buyers and sellers of used cars and trucks from concealed vehicle histories.

Created by federal law, this system is the only publicly available system in the country that requires all insurance carriers, auto recyclers, junk and salvage yards, and states to report vehicle title history information. NMVTIS data is also required in the state of California to comply with AB1215.

Reports typically include title “Brand” information that may uncover a previously-unknown “Salvage” or “Flood” vehicle. This information may not normally be found in a standard vehicle history report.

CheckThatVIN is available at https://checkthatvin.com.

“Customers shouldn’t have to be so wary when they buy a used car,” said William Pagan, Senior Vice President at CARCO.  “But, unfortunately, a lot of unscrupulous sellers will try to pawn off a flood-damaged car as perfectly fine.”

Rob Winthrop, business development director at CARCO, added that consumers should pay attention to cars labeled as “Insurer Total Loss.” “Often, a vehicle that was a loss due to flooding may be labeled as ‘Insurer Total Loss’ versus ‘Flood,’” he said.  “Running an inexpensive CheckThatVIN report prior to purchasing a used car offers valuable information and peace of mind.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Pre-Insurance Vehicle Photo Inspections

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DID YOU KNOW that CARCO has been performing pre-insurance vehicle photo inspections since 1977, becoming the industry expert with over 50 million inspections completed?

 

The cost of fraud is prohibitive to both insurance companies and the general car buying public.  Pre-insurance vehicle photo inspections offer many benefits to assist insurance companies in fighting fraud.  The process helps to ensure that the condition of the vehicle being insured is verified prior to coverage starting and the vehicle is fairly and properly valued. If the vehicle has pre-existing damage, that is noted and the premium can be adjusted accordingly. That way, the insurance company will not be overpaying on a claim, saving all insureds in the form of lower rates.

 

In essence, pre-insurance inspections help in reducing losses by making sure that the correct value is placed on the vehicle and claims for pre-existing damage are minimized.

 

A further benefit of pre-insurance vehicle photo inspections is the NMVTIS title history report that accompanies each inspection which reveals important title history events about the vehicle to the insurer, further enabling the vehicle to be properly insured.

 

Click here to find out more on how CARCO’s pre-insurance vehicle photo inspection services can help your company prevent fraud, reduce risk and decrease costs to insureds!

 

CARCO Releases Vehicle Title History Reports With New Features

CheckThatVINCARCO’s Vehicle Inspections Division announced the release of a new version of its CheckThatVIN (Motor Vehicle Title History Report) product. In addition to the standard “Year, Make and Model” that had been offered, CheckThatVIN reports will now include full vehicle description (when available) based on the particular Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

“Adding the additional VIN decoding to our standard offering provides additional value to our CheckThatVIN product,” stated Rob Winthrop, Product  Manager at CARCO. “Our customers can now see additional vehicle details along with the VIN title history information which will better enable them to make a decision about the purchase of a particular vehicle.”

The reports will also include the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) data for each report. NMVTIS was designed to protect prospective buyers of used cars and trucks from concealed vehicle histories. Created by federal law, this system is the only publicly available system in the country that requires all insurance carriers, auto recyclers, junk and salvage yards, and states to report vehicle history information.

 

Reports  typically include title “Brand” information that may uncover a previously-unknown “Salvage” or “Flood” vehicle. This information may not normally be found in a standard vehicle history report. It has been estimated that there are more than 250,000 Sandy-related “Flood” vehicles on the market.

 

CheckThatVIN is available at https://checkthatvin.com/stc/ in PDF or HTML formats.

Press Release: CARCO’S CEO invited to serve as Member representing the interests of NMVTIS technology partners on the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s NMVTIS Advisory Board.

HOLTSVILLE, NY (May 21, 2010) – CARCO Group, Inc. is honored to announce that James Owens, CARCO’s CEO, has been invited by Jim Burch, Acting Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, to serve as a Member representing the interests of NMVTIS technology partners on the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s NMVTIS Advisory Board.

In an effort to combat automobile theft and fraud and provide consumer protection, the national Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) was established by the Anti Car theft Act of 1992. NMVTIS is an electronic system designed to protect consumers from fraud and unsafe vehicles and to keep stolen vehicles from being resold. The system also assists states and law enforcement in deterring, investigating, and preventing title fraud and other crimes.

The NMVTIS Advisory Board’s objective is to provide critical input and key recommendations to BJA’s leadership regarding the effective and efficient administration of the NMVTIS program.

Through its CheckThatVIN.com service, CARCO provides consumers with access to NMVTIS to obtain a detailed state record on a vehicle they are seeking to purchase. This allows consumers to make well-informed decisions.

Background information about NMVTIS is available on the U.S. Department of Justice’s NMVTIS Web site at www.NMVTIS.gov.  For more information on CARCO Group’s NMVTIS service, please visit www.carcogroup.com or CheckThatVIN.com.