NICB Report: Texas Leads the Nation in Pickup Truck Thefts

California and Florida Round Out the Top Three States

PickupTruck2014GraphicDES PLAINES, Ill., Sept. 11, 2014 — As revealed in a new report released today by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), pickup trucks are a popular choice for both personal and work use, and given their wide range of applications and utility, they have become a favorite target by vehicle thieves as well. Between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2013, 9,441 pickup trucks were reported stolen. Full-sized pickup trucks had more thefts with 8,367 thefts versus 895 for compact pickups. Mid-sized pickup trucks had the fewest thefts with 179.

The report looks at theft data only for model years 2011, 2012 and 2013 pickups stolen between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2013. The classes of pickups are compact, mid-size and full size as described in Automotive News’ Data Center.

Read the full press release in the NICB Newsroom.

 

NICB: 2013 Tailgate Thefts Rise 31 Percent Compared to 2012

Texas, California and Arizona Most Active

TailgateTheftsGraphicDES PLAINES, Ill., Sept. 3, 2014 — The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released a new report that shows that insured tailgate thefts rose from 831 in 2012 to 1,090 in 2013—an increase of 31 percent.

The report reviews claims data submitted by insurance companies between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2013.

The top three states for tailgate thefts during this period were: Texas (752), California (334) and Arizona (207). The cities reporting the most thefts were: Houston (145), San Antonio (125) and Dallas (91).

The top three cities for tailgate thefts were: Houston (145), San Antonio (125), and Dallas (91).

The underground market is lively for items that can be acquired at a fraction of their legitimate cost. Tailgates are no exception. While many of these stolen tailgates end up on similar vehicles, others are simply sold for scrap, which contributes to the nationwide problem of metal theft.

Tailgate thefts can occur anywhere; several episodes of multiple thefts have occurred in single locations, such as auto dealers’ lots and shopping malls. Since a tailgate theft takes just seconds to accomplish, consumers might consider using an after-market security device, such as a hinge lock to thwart criminals.

View the complete report here.

NICB’s Hot Wheels: America’s 10 Most Stolen Vehicles

NICBHotWheelsSocialDES PLAINES, Ill., Aug. 18, 2014 — The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released its annual Hot Wheels report, which identifies the 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States. The report examines vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and determines the vehicle make, model and model year most reported stolen in 2013.

Also in today’s release is a list of the top 25 2013 vehicle makes and models that were reported stolen in calendar year 2013.

For 2013, the most stolen vehicles* in the nation were (total thefts in parentheses):

1. Honda Accord (53,995)
2. Honda Civic (45,001)
3. Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size) (27,809)
4. Ford Pickup (Full Size) (26,494)
5. Toyota Camry (14,420)
6. Dodge Pickup (Full Size) (11,347)
7. Dodge Caravan (10,911)
8. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee (9,272)
9. Toyota Corolla (9,010)
10. Nissan Altima (8,892)

Read the full press release.

NICB Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Hot Spots Vehicle Theft Report

California Is Hotter Than Ever With Nine of 10 Top Spots

NICBTimelineBlogDes Plaines, IL—Since 1984, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has published annual reports—known today as Hot Spots—that examine vehicle theft at the national and local level. NICB was originally established in 1912 as the Automobile Protective and Information Bureau and the company focused exclusively on recovering stolen motor vehicles that were insured by its 11 member insurance companies.

Name changes and mission expansion over the years evolved into today’s NICB—with over 1,100 member insurance companies. Although recovering stolen vehicles remains a central function at NICB, our special agents, investigative assistants, intelligence analysts, trainers, government and public affairs personnel are equally focused on other pervasive fraud schemes, particularly within the medical and commercial environments.

Read more.

Watercraft Thefts Sink by 6 Percent in 2013

WaterCraftInfographicWebDES PLAINES, Ill., May 19, 2014 — With summer and boating season just around the corner, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released its latest report on watercraft theft and recoveries in the United States. The report examines watercraft* reported stolen between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013. The report draws from data contained in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Overall, there were 5,537 watercraft thefts reported during 2013, and that is a 6 percent decrease from the 5,870 thefts reported in 2012.

The top five states for thefts in descending order were: Florida (1,310), California (628), Texas (382), Washington (208) and Georgia (182). No watercraft thefts were reported from Hawaii and the District of Columbia.

The top five types of watercraft stolen in 2013 were in identical order to last year’s report. In first place was the “Jet Ski” category, which recorded 1,215 thefts. It was followed by, in descending order, runabout (871), utility (363), cruiser (214) and sailboat (44).

Read the full press release.

Florida’s No-Fault Reform: Trending in the Right Direction

After Leading the Nation with Suspicious PIP Claims, Florida Sees a Decline

Florida PIP ReformThe National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) has released a new report revealing a decline in Florida’s personal injury protection (PIP) questionable claims (QCs). In 2013, Florida PIP QCs declined by 7.6 percent from 2012. Meanwhile, for the period 2010 through 2013, Florida staged accident QCs decreased by 61.82 percent.

Tighter legislation, enhanced public awareness and a coordinated law enforcement response appear to be having the intended effect on PIP fraud in Florida.

We are encouraged by the decline in questionable claims that we’ve seen recently, but by no means are we declaring victory in Florida,” said NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle. “Florida remains a hotbed for fraudulent activity, and we can’t afford to ease up for a moment in our fight against those who would abuse the system and burden Florida consumers.”

Visit the NICB Newsroom to read the full press release.

All Aboard: The Significance of a HIN

It’s January. Right now, most of the country is hunkered down by the snow and blistering cold. For most of us in the colder regions of the country, warm weather may seem like the distant future. But regardless of where you reside, if you enjoy outdoor activities on the water, there’s something you need to keep in mind.

BoatShow1Recently, I joined colleagues from the NICB’s Manufacturers Information Group at the Boat, Sports & RV Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. The annual event is billed as a one-stop marketplace and provides outdoor enthusiasts and dreamers alike an opportunity to see the latest and greatest offerings. Prices run the gamut from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand, or over $1 million. Other watercrafts such as kayaks or Jet Skis offer an even lower price point.

But why is the NICB concerned about boats and other watercrafts, you might ask? Because, like many other investments and property, they may be targets for thieves and fraudulent schemes.

While the typical visitor may have been touring the boats in search of deals and features, we toured them in search of HINs (Hull Identification Numbers). Similar to automobiles, boats also have identification numbers placed on them by their manufacturers. These HINs contain characters and numbers, information that assists law enforcement in recovering stolen boats. Since August of 1972, every marine vessel that is made or imported for sale in the U.S. is required to have a HIN. We wanted to see where and how these HINs were placed, not for aesthetic reasons, but rather to assess how easily thieves might possibly remove or alter them.

A 2013 report by the NICB indicated that there were 5,780 watercraft thefts reported in 2012. That equates to about 16 thefts per day with the spring and summer months having the most active periods for thefts. So what, if anything, can be done to help guard against theft and fraud schemes?

The NICB and NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association) have partnered to create a boat database to enhance the efforts of the United States Coast Guard, law enforcement and NICB personnel to identify thefts and related fraudulent schemes.
Currently, the database contains over 661,000 boat records received directly from the boat manufacturers. Data collected include: year of manufacture; hull identification number (HIN); brand; model; length overall; hull material; propulsion type; fuel type; and vessel type. For investigative assistance, NICB Member Companies and law enforcement partners are encouraged to contact the NICB’s Investigative Assistance Group at 1-800-447-6282 x7002 or 847-544-7002.

For consumers, whether you spend $1,000 or several hundred thousand for your boat, it’s more than just a recreational craft. It’s an investment. Like any other investment, you need to protect it from theft. For more information on how to protect your boat, the NICB offers these helpful tips and video.

Just How Much Fraud Is There in the P & C Industry?

Every week I get this question from some member of the media, “How much fraud occurs each year in the property and casualty industry?” My response is always the same, “About $30 billion,” and then I hope that the reporter doesn’t ask how that figure is determined.

The truth is, no one really knows how much fraud is perpetrated each year. We use that familiar figure because it’s been used forever. But do we really know what the fraud picture is?

According to research conducted in 1992 by the Battelle Seattle Research Center for the Insurance Information Institute, fraud accounts for about 10 percent of the property/casualty insurance industry’s incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses each year. A good number of potentially fraudulent claims are paid each year without being investigated due to the desire and requirements to make payments in a timely fashion and the difficulty in proving fraud. As a result, we only see a small percentage of those claims—and an even smaller percent are ever prosecuted.

The following graph shows incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses since 2006:
P/C Industry, Income Analysis, Source: “The Insurance Fact Book 2012 & 2013” with data from ISO, a Verisk Analytics company. ($ in billions).

So while the average estimated fraud loss over these six years is $31.33 billion, the annual figure swings from $28.39 billion to $34.45 billion—a $6 billion variance.

Taken as a whole, the average fraud loss of $31.33 billion is within parameters, especially when using imprecise language like “about $30 billion.” That is made painfully clear whenever a reporter who’s been around for a while observes that the number hasn’t changed in years.

That is generally followed by another inevitable observation that goes something like this: “It seems odd that for an industry loaded with analysts, data-mining tools, actuaries and claims professionals that it can’t develop a more reliable method to determine how much fraud it sees in a given year.” Good point.

If we approach this data from the perspective of a fraud-fighting metric, how do we describe the industry’s effectiveness? Since we’re identifying the scope of fraud as 10 percent of a number that is based on two loss-related variables, then any movement up or down is just a function of those variables and not at all tied to the industry’s fraud-fighting prowess.

Yet, we see case after case where multi-million dollar insurance fraud rings are busted all across the nation. The cases that NICB works with its SIU and law enforcement partners are complex. They run the gamut from local, significant loss episodes to national, multi-carrier, multi-claim scams that drain hundreds of millions of dollars from insurance companies and the federal government.

Maybe $30 billion is just the tip of the “fraudberg.” Maybe not, but who really knows?

ISO receives more than 235,000 claims a day. With that amount of data and the analytical and investigative talent available to the industry, it does seem awkward that we can’t do the research that realistically and reliably answers the question, “How much fraud occurs each year in the property and casualty industry?”

NICB’s Hot Wheels Classic Report: Chevrolet Corvette

NICB’s recently released Hot Wheel’s Classic report takes a look at the theft of Chevrolet Corvettes over the past 30 years. The following is taken from a press release issued by Frank Scafidi, director or public affairs.

A Truly Hot Car – More Than One in 10 Stolen Over Past 30 Years

Although racing purists might recognize the Stutz Bearcat or the Mercer Raceabout as America’s first sports cars, there is no question that the Chevrolet Corvette holds the title as America’s oldest, continuously produced sports car.

In this, NICB’s second Hot Wheels Classics report, we look at how the Corvette has fared as a theft target. For a video report on Corvette thefts, click here.

A Little Corvette History

The public saw the Corvette for the first time in January 1953, at the Motorama Show held at New York City’s Waldorf Astoria hotel. It went into full production on June 30, 1953, at the General Motors facility in Flint, Mich. By the end of the year, 300 were produced—all of them white convertibles with red interiors and black soft tops. The price tag was $3,498 with a heater and AM radio as the only options.

In 1954, Corvette production moved to a renovated facility in St. Louis, Mo., where it remained until 1981. That year, Corvette production moved into a new assembly facility at Bowling Green, Ky., where Corvettes continue to roll off the line today.

The first-generation Corvette—C1s as they are known—were manufactured from 1953-1962. Successive generations appeared in 1963 (C2); 1968 (C3); 1984 (C4); 1997 (C5); and in 2005 with the C6. A seventh-generation Corvette is expected sometime next year.

At the 1978 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, Corvette made the first of its 10 appearances as the official Indy 500 Pace Car, an unmatched record on two counts—most appearances as a pace car and most consecutive years pacing the field (2004-2008).

Often compared to more exotic European sports cars, the Corvette has performed well in racing circuits around the globe. However, with the introduction of the supercharged, 620hp ZR-1 in 2009, Corvette has convinced its few remaining skeptics that it can perform on the world racing stage, as well as (and mostly better than) cars three times its price tag.

It’s no surprise then to find Corvette owners doting over their cars and keeping them in showroom condition. But like other items of high value and popular attraction, they get stolen. NICB reviewed Corvette theft data from 1953-2011 and identified 134,731 theft records. However, since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration required vehicle identification number (VIN) standardization beginning with the 1981 model year, confidence in pre-1981 records is low due to the inconsistency in reporting protocols and VIN systems. Consequently, only 1981 and later data was used to produce this report.

 Visit www.nicb.org to read the full press release.

 

NICB People, Passion, Purpose – Part IV

Did you know that analytical units are one of the fastest growing units within the insurance industry today?

NICB’s Data Analytics team is a dynamic group comprised of strategic, tactical, and statistical analysts, who each wear a variety of hats.

Tactical analysts coordinate with case agents to tailor analytical support for each individual case’s needs. Strategic analysts mine vast datasets to identify significant claim activity indicative of fraud for investigation by both NICB and its individual members. Statistical analysts compile national campaigns such as the NICB ‘Hot Wheels’ and ‘Hot Spots’ reports, in addition to providing the individual Member Benefit reports.

Our team is fortunate to have direct contact with our members and strives for two way communication to ensure we provide quality work products for all we serve. Our department contributes to the majority of what is published by NICB, not only for members, but the public as well. Chances are, if there is a report or presentation with data, graphs, charts, or maps, Data Analytics was involved. In today’s world, advanced technology has led to new ways to commit fraud. Our analysts are technically savvy, and continually evolve their skills to identify new groups and new fraud trends as they emerge. Having been with NICB 13 years, I have seen a lot of change in the way we combat fraud. I consider myself lucky to be a part of today’s team of analysts. They are bright and committed, and watch out fraudsters. They are also very determined.