Be Wary: Flood Damage May Lead To Used Vehicle Fraud

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), residents of East Coast states affected by Hurricane Irene should be careful when buying used vehicles, as the risk of unknowingly purchasing a flood-damaged vehicle is relatively high. Auto insurance claims based on flood damage revealed more than 10,000 flood-related claims processed in August 2011 alone.

Flood damage can lead to costly repairs at best, and at worst significant flaws could cause or contribute to an accident that risks health and life. Flood-damaged vehicles may be tempting due to low prices, but are also commonly sold as part of scams that fairly to disclose the car's history.

The NICB notes drivers thinking of buying a flood-damaged vehicle, or any used vehicle, from a private seller may wish to have it inspected by a technician to ensure it is in good condition and the seller is dealing in good faith.

While doing so does not completely rule out fraud, buyers may wish to check a car's vehicle identification number and see if it is marked in the NICB database as previously flood damaged, salvaged or stolen.

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