Updated March 31 at 10:09pm

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INSURANCE

Vehicles damaged from Sandy tops 250K

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DES PLAINES, Ill. – More than 250,000 vehicles were damaged across parts of the United States as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the National Insurance Crime Bureau announced Thursday.

In its revised estimates, the NICB has increased the number of estimated vehicles damaged to 250,500 based on claims processed by insurance companies.

New York and New Jersey’s vehicles were hardest hit, with the states reporting 150,000 and 60,000 vehicle insurance claims, respectively. Rhode Island was relatively unscathed, with 1,000 vehicle insurance claims from storm damage.

The full list of states generating Sandy-related vehicle damage claims is as follows: New York (150,000); New Jersey (60,0000); Connecticut (8,000); Maryland (5,500); Massachusetts (5,000); Virginia (4,500); Pennsylvania (4,000); Delaware (2,000); New Hampshire (2,000); North Carolina (1,500); Washington, D.C. (1,000); Rhode Island (1,000); West Virginia (1,000); Maine (500); and Vermont (500).

The NICB noted that these are preliminary figures and may change as additional insurance claims are processed. “Also, these are insured losses only. There are certainly many uninsured vehicles that were damaged by Sandy and those numbers are not reflected in this information,” said the release.

The bureau added that these figures did not factor in the extent of damage to the vehicles. “They could have sustained minor paint scratches from flying debris or have been under water for days and rendered total losses.”

“By now there could be many Sandy damaged vehicles that are in the process of being reconditioned and sold to unsuspecting consumers all across the country,” said the release, adding that it is not illegal to buy or sell flood vehicles as long as all parties are aware of the vehicle’s status.

“Consumers should be aware that severely damaged vehicles may appear advertised for sale without any indication that they were at all affected by Sandy. As always, buyers should be careful when considering a used vehicle purchase in the weeks and months following a disaster such as Sandy,” warned the release.

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