DETROIT – In the days since Superstorm Sandy, an alarming prediction has flashed across the Internet: Hundreds of thousands of flood-damaged vehicles will inundate the nation’s used-car market, and buyers might not be told which cars have been marred.
Not true, according to insurance-claims data reviewed by the Associated Press. The dire predictions are being spread by a company that sells vehicle title and repair histories and by the largest group representing American car dealers.
They claim the number of cars damaged by Sandy could be larger than when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005 and marred more than 600,000 vehicles. But an AP analysis of claims data supplied by major insurance companies shows the number of cars reported damaged so far is a fraction of that.
The companies – State Farm, Progressive, New Jersey Manufacturers, Nationwide and USAA – have received about 38,000 car-damage claims.