The losses from Sandy keep piling up. On Nov. 26, AIR Worldwide substantially raised its estimate of total insured losses to between $16 billion and $22 billion, while the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) revised its projections about the total number of vehicles swept away by Superstorm Sandy.
Based on claims information provided from the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), a subsidiary of Verisk Analytics, the NICB now estimates that at least 230,000 vehicles were damaged in the storm. Not surprisingly, New York logged the most damaged vehicles, with 130,000 claims. Meanwhile, New Jersey has reported 60,000 auto claims.
The remaining 40,000 claims analyzed and reviewed by insurers were filed by insureds in Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.
As of Nov. 5, Progressive Corp. had received 6,000 claims from Sandy. At the time, Progressive Corp. CEO Genn Renwick expected most of those would be total losses. It is not yet clear how many of the 230,000 vehicles are total losses. Some of the damaged vehicles may have only sustained minor scratches from flying debris, whereas may have been submerged for days and thus rendered total losses.
Moreover, the NICB notes the preliminary nature of the figures, which may change as additional claims are received and processed.
In addition to the NICB, several industry organizations and consumer advocacy groups are forewarning consumers about the potential resale of flooded—and otherwise “totaled”—vehicles.