IBC launches VIN Verify Service to identify flood-damaged vehicles

Toronto, ON (Aug. 6, 2013) – To protect consumers, Insurance Bureau of Canada and its member insurance companies have compiled a database of flooded vehicles that have been reported and branded as non-repairable due to flooding across southern Alberta and the Greater Toronto Area.

Severe weather events, such as heavy rainfall, are getting more intense and are leaving communities under water and scores of flood-damaged vehicles. With water-damaged electronic components, potential mould and other issues, flooded vehicles are unsafe and are not legally allowed to be placed on the road.

“In the aftermath of a flooding event, fraudsters may attempt to cleanup and resell storm-damaged vehicles to unsuspecting consumers. This new free VIN Verify Service on ibc.ca helps to protect consumers by allowing them to check whether a vehicle has been reported as flood damaged and non-repairable by participating IBC member insurance companies,” says Rick Dubin, Vice-President of Investigative Services at IBC.

“Canadians should be cautious when a deal seems too good to be true and should report any suspicious vehicles to IBC through our tips reporting program at 1-877-IBC-TIPS or through the web,” adds Dubin.

When considering a private purchase of a used vehicle, you should consider doing a search of the vehicle through IBC’s VIN verify service as well as ordering a full vehicle history search and having the vehicle fully inspected by a known mechanic to ensure that it is not a flood related or even stolen vehicle.

This activity of reselling flood-damaged vehicles occurs frequently after severe weather events in Canada and in the U.S. It is something everyone should be aware of at all times, especially after major catastrophic events where fraudsters are looking for opportunities to take advantage of consumers.

Thinking of buying a car? Use IBC’s VIN Verify Service to search if the vehicle has been branded as non-repairable due to flood damage.

For more information on flood-damaged vehicles, see Think, Don’t Sink: Beware of Flooded Vehicles (PDF), via IBC.

Terms and Conditions of the VIN Verify Service

  • There may be other vehicles which have been reported as flooded which are not included in this database.
  • It is possible that a vehicle was incorrectly reported and has not been removed from this database.
  • It is possible that there are vehicles with duplicate VINs and/or VINs incorrectly entered.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada

Insurance Bureau of Canada is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, car and business insurers. Its member companies represent 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. The P&C insurance industry employs over 115,000 Canadians, pays more than $7 billion in taxes to the federal, provincial and municipal governments, and has a total premium base of $44 billion.

To view media releases and information, visit the media section of IBC’s website at www.ibc.ca and for IBC on Twitter follow @insurancebureau.

SOURCE: Insurance Bureau of Canada

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