Motorcycle Thefts Increase Two Percent in 2016

Honda’s were the most stolen motorcycles in 2016.

DES PLAINES, Ill. – The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released a report on motorcycle thefts in the United States for 2016. A total of 46,467 motorcycles were reported stolen in 2016 compared with 45,555 reported stolen in 2015—an increase of two percent.

Although 2016 delivered another slight increase in motorcycle thefts, motorcycle thefts are down considerably since 2006. They have dropped from 66,774 in 2006 to 46,467 in 2016—a decline of 30 percent.

The top 10 states with the most reported motorcycles thefts in 2016 were California (7,506), Florida (4,482), Texas (3,692), South Carolina (2,057), North Carolina (1,847), New York (1,731), Indiana (1,397), Georgia (1,296), Missouri (1,195), and Nevada (1,177).

The top 10 cities for motorcycle thefts in 2016 were New York (1,209), San Diego (849), Las Vegas (818), Los Angeles (760) San Francisco (616), Miami (610), Houston (607), San Antonio (411), Phoenix (347), and Austin, Texas, (343).

The top 10 most stolen motorcycles in 2016 by manufacturer were American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (9,052 thefts), Yamaha Motor Corporation (7,723), American Suzuki Motor Corporation (6,229), Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (5,221), Harley Davidson, Inc. (4,953), Taotao Group Co. Ltd (2,673), KTM Sportmotorcycle AG (762), Ducati Motor Holding (521), Genuine Cycle (463), and Kymco U.S.A., Inc. (453).

The most motorcycle thefts occurred in August (5,251) and the fewest in February (2,547) which continues to reflect a weather-influenced pattern that is consistent with previous years. Download the complete report here and an infographic here.

Fraud Files: Colorado Contractor Arrested for Scamming the Elderly

A Denver, Colorado contractor has been charged with several counts of felony theft after allegedly scamming elderly homeowners through his roofing and restoration business.

Jonathan McMillan, 41, is the owner of Lifetime Roofing and Restoration. According to Jefferson County court documents, McMillan hired sales people to go door-to-door soliciting roofing business from homeowners with houses damaged primarily by hailstorms. Those employees were instructed by McMillan to have the homeowners sign contracts and collect as much insurance claim payments as quickly as possible.

To view more episodes of Fraud Files click here.

NICB Celebrates Healthiest Company in America Award

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is proud to announce national recognition as one of the Healthiest Companies in America by Interactive Health, a national leader known for its personalized wellness solutions. NICB is one of 156 companies across the country being recognized for helping employees make significant and sometimes life-saving changes to improve their health. This is the second year NICB has won the award.

With the help of strategic and flexible wellness initiatives, the Healthiest Companies in America recipients have accomplished tremendous success, achieving participation rates in excess of 70 percent and a low-risk health score for their total population, based on rigorous and clinically sound health evaluations.

“This is the 10th year we’re honoring the Healthiest Companies in America and it continues to inspire us how successful the winning companies are in building and sustaining employee engagement and inspiring positive health outcomes,” said Interactive Health President and CEO Cathy Kenworthy. “It is possible to improve health through the right workplace initiatives, and it is smart business. In addition to this year’s 156 winners, there are dozens more that are extremely close to obtaining the designation, or have met the criteria in the past, set an even higher bar for their program, and will meet that bar again in the future. We looking forward to inviting more companies into the winner’s circle next year as our technology and service enhancements make it even more possible for organizations to improve employee health.”

Participants in Interactive Health’s wellness program receive a thorough health evaluation to identify risk and learn about their health status. Through a combination of rapid outreach, connection to personal physicians and tailored resources, a personalized course of action is delivered to the participant resulting in improved or maintained health, leading NICB to this achievement.

For more information on Healthiest Companies in America, visit http://interactivehealthinc.com/client-success/healthiest-companies/.

As Storm Season is Underway, NICB Urges Texas Lawmakers to Help Stop Scam Artists

The spring storm season is underway in the Southwest where Texas bears the brunt of the most hail storm damage during the active months of March through June.

Tornadoes, violent windstorms and hail pummeled the Dallas area in late March, setting off warnings to consumers about scam artists and calls for statewide legislation to combat the problem. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), working with a task force from the state Department of Insurance, the Texas Department of Public Safety, local government officials and police agencies quickly responded to the storms to warn victims of storm chasers invading the area.

Watch the video:

In Austin, state lawmakers are currently considering SB 10 and HB 1774 aimed at hail litigation reform and HB 3293, which would allow for a voluntary certification program for roofing companies issued by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. While those debates proceed, local officials, aware of the influx of out-of-state and unregistered contractors who showed up last year following severe storms in the area, have taken matters into their own hands for now. In cities like Rockwall, contractors began going door-to-door before the rain had ended soliciting business.

Heavily damaged areas in the city of Rockwall were cordoned off by police to keep potential scam artists from going door-to-door to solicit repair work.

One local homeowner in Rockwall said he was surprised to get knocks on the door from three different contractors in the middle of the night before the rain had stopped falling through his damaged roof. He took the advice of the police and rejected the unrequested solicitations. He worked instead with a reputable local contractor and his insurance company to make temporary repairs and begin the rebuilding process.

Within a few hours, police had cordoned off the heavily damaged areas and only allowed roofers and contractors to enter if they were invited and escorted by the homeowner.

The mayor of Rockwall, Jim Pruitt, says his community learned from the response to storms over a year ago in nearby Rowlett. He welcomed the support of the task force in spreading the word about potential scam artists before the storm, and the quick response to assist local police in the neighborhoods in the aftermath of the recent damage.

NICB and Texas Department of Insurance Fraud Investigators assisted local officials in warning residents of potential fraud scams.

The Rockwall County District Attorney, Kenda Culpepper, says statewide laws that would make it tougher on unscrupulous contractors would be beneficial to consumers. But in the meantime, anyone who criminally takes advantage of storm victims will face prosecution if they can be identified and located.

NICB suggests you consider these tips before hiring a contractor:

  • Get more than one estimate
  • Get everything in writing. Cost, work to be done, time schedules, guarantees, payment schedules and other expectations should be detailed
  • Demand references and check them out
  • Ask to see the salesperson’s driver’s license and write down the license number and their vehicle’s license plate number
  • Never sign a contract with blanks; unacceptable terms can be added later
  • Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is finished and ensure reconstruction is up to current code
  • Make sure you review and understand all documents sent to your insurance carrier
  • Never let a contractor pressure you into hiring them
  • Never let a contractor interpret the insurance policy language
  • Never let a contractor discourage you from contacting your insurance company

Insured Metal Theft Claims Take Dramatic Dive

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Metal theft claims were down 29% over the past two years.

In a dramatic drop-off that extends a multi-year trend, insured metal theft claims in 2015 were down 23 percent from 2014 levels and 29 percent over the past two years.

According to a report today from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), in 2013, a total of 13,626 metal theft claims were processed. That number dropped by seven percent to 12,621 in 2014 and took a 23 percent decline in 2015 to 9,692 — a total reduction of 29 percent over the past two years.

During this three-year period, 35,961 insurance claims for the theft of copper, bronze, brass or aluminum were handled — 35,134 of them (98 percent) involving copper. When copper theft claims frequency is compared to the monthly average price of copper, there is a statistically- significant correlation between the two.

While the slowdown in thefts is encouraging, dangerous copper theft incidents continue to occur from Hawaii to Indiana to Massachusetts.

The top five states for metal theft claims over this period were Ohio (4,042), Pennsylvania (2,819), New Jersey (2,585), New York (2,101) and Texas (1,833).

The top five Core-Based Statistical Areas generating the most metal theft claims were New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (2,136), Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (1,809), Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI (1,449), Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD (890) and Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA (868).

You can review and download the full report here. Download the dataset here.

While overall public awareness of these kinds of crimes helps to motivate consumers as to the steps they can take to protect themselves and their property, credit also belongs with the various state legislatures and municipalities that have enacted tough laws in recent years as a direct response to copper and other metal thefts. Many of these laws require scrap yards and other buyers of metal to document the transaction and require proof of identity to discourage thieves from trying to cash in.

There is a normal lag between legislation enactment and intended results. The laws passed in recent years may now be bearing fruit. Still, individuals need to do their part to prevent these

kinds of thefts by simply being vigilant in their neighborhoods and business communities. If dwellings remain unoccupied for extended periods of time, they become magnets for unlawful behaviors. Wire stripping is among the activities that are routinely discovered in these locations.

Your best protection is simply paying attention. Talk with your neighbors and ask one that you trust to keep watch on your home if you will be away. As always, you should report suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency. Unreported crime tends to breed more crime.

U.S. Watercraft Thefts Drop 3 Percent in 2015

luxury-boats_zyy-qUtuAs boating season nears, the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) annual study of watercraft theft reports that watercraft theft declined 3 percent in 2015. A total of 5,051 watercraft were reported stolen between January 1 and December 31, 2015. The report is based on theft data contained in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The top five states for thefts in descending order were Florida (1,205 thefts), California (528 thefts), Texas (399 thefts), North Carolina (192 thefts) and Washington (173 thefts).

The top five cities for thefts in descending order were Miami (192 thefts), Tampa, Fla. (63 thefts), Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (59 thefts), Fort Myers, Fla. (53 thefts) and Hialeah, Fla. (44 thefts).

The top five watercraft types* stolen were Personal Watercraft (1,108 thefts), Runabout (678 thefts), Utility (278 thefts), Cruiser (181 thefts) and Sailboat (52 thefts).

The top five manufacturers for watercraft thefts were Yamaha Motor Corp., USA (573 thefts), Bombardier Corp.** (428 thefts), Kawasaki Motors Mfg. (163 thefts), Alumacraft Boat Co. (129 thefts) and Bass Tracker Corp. (108 thefts).

On average, there were approximately 14 watercraft thefts per day, 97 per week, or 421 per month in 2015. Most thefts occurred during the spring and summer months with July recording the highest number with 612. February recorded the fewest with 251.

Download the complete watercraft report.

Boat owners are reminded to practice safe and smart boating. That includes personal safety while on the water, as well as theft prevention.

NICB recommends the following tips to protect your watercraft from theft:

  • When you “dock it, lock it” and secure it to the dock with a steel cable
  • Remove expensive equipment when not in use
  • Chain and lock detachable motors to the boat
  • Do not leave title or registration papers in the craft
  • Disable the craft by shutting fuel lines or removing batteries
  • Use a trailer hitch lock after parking a boat on its trailer
  • Install a kill switch in the ignition system
  • Ensure your marine insurance policy includes your equipment, boat and trailer
  • Take photos of the boat and mark it with a Hull Identification Number (HIN)

More anti-theft information can be found in our boat theft brochure.

* Described below are the 13 watercraft types as found in the NCIC code manual, one of which is “Jet Ski”—NCIC’s universal name for all personal watercraft without regard to manufacturer. Jet Ski is also the registered trademark for Kawasaki Motor Corporation’s line of personal watercraft.

Airboat: not defined
Commercial: ferry, oyster boat, motor barge, towboat, tug, clam dredge, coaster, riverboat, smack boat, etc.
Cruiser: a boat with an inboard motor that is at least 25 feet long, but no longer than 50 ft.
Houseboat: not defined
Hovercraft: not defined
Hydrofoil: not defined
Hydroplane: not defined
Jet-Ski (PWC): aqua bike
Runabout: launch, motorboat, outrider, speedboat, etc.
Sailboat: cat, catamaran, cutter, bark, ketch, lateen, lugger, pinnace, schooner, sloop, yawl, etc.
Utility: fisherman, sedan, etc.
Yacht: a boat with an inboard motor that is more than 50 feet long and is used mainly for pleasure or recreation
All other: canoe, dinghy, dory, johnboat, kayak, lifeboat, paddleboat, rowboat, skull, skiff, etc.

**In 2003, Bombardier Corp. sold off its recreational products division. The Sea-Doo personal watercraft is now produced by Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc. Thus, the 428 thefts would include pre-2003 models.

Ohio Mutual Insurance Group Joins NICB

The Ohio Mutual Insurance Group (OMIG), a regional property and casualty insurer based in Bucyrus, Ohio, is the newest addition to the nearly 1,100 companies that are members of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

“We are proud to welcome Ohio Mutual as a partner in our efforts to fight insurance fraud and vehicle crime,” said NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle.

Mark C. Russell, who became president and CEO of the Ohio Mutual Insurance Group in January, said fighting fraud is a responsibility his organization takes very seriously.

“We owe it to our policyholders and business partners to defend against those who would try to commit fraud,” said Russell. “Today’s insurance fraud is sophisticated and complex and it requires a strong partnership with other insurers and law enforcement to combat it. NICB offers more than 100 years of experience to support our fraud investigators, and our participation as an active member of NICB will be an essential component of our fraud-fighting efforts going forward.”

Ohio Mutual Insurance Group, founded in 1901 with its home office in Bucyrus, Ohio, and a regional office in Saco, Maine, partners with nearly 400 independent agencies to distribute quality property and casualty insurance products throughout Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Ohio Mutual has maintained a rating of “A / Stable” from A.M. Best Co. for 23 consecutive years, and was named to the prestigious Ward’s 50 in 2009–2013. Additional company information is available at www.omig.com.

OhioMutualNICB

Focusing on Fraud in South Carolina

Organized fraud rings are active in South Carolina, taking advantage of the state’s lack of resources to investigate and prosecute insurance fraud.That was the message that some 150 law enforcement personnel, insurance industry representatives and elected officials heard at the annual insurance fraud summit in Greenville this week.

The summit, organized by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and the South Carolina Insurance News Service (SCINS), focused on the need for additional resources and legislative remedies to fight the growing insurance crime problem in the state. To learn more, watch this video.

Citing NICB statistics that show South Carolina ranked seventh in the nation in suspected staged accidents, Attorney General Alan Wilson urged the passage of HB 4339 to help stem the problem.

“Fraud and crime, like water, follow the path of least resistance,” said Wilson. ”I believe it is incumbent on us this year as we move forward to try to direct some more resources and legislation toward combatting insurance fraud.”

South Carolina currently allocates $200,000 a year in funds for investigation and prosecution of insurance fraud, which is the lowest of all 50 states.

NICB President and CEO Joe Wehrle told the audience that in addition to staged accidents, other fraud issues that are plaguing the state include suspect medical clinics and pill mills, as well as windshield glass repair fraud.

“The proceeds that organized criminal rings haul in from insurance fraud often go to fund other criminal activities,” said Wehrle. “As we’ve seen in other states where we’ve held these summits in recent years, a few changes in the law and increased support for investigation and prosecution of these crimes sends a message to the criminals that this is no longer a place to do business.”

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422), texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411) or submitting a form on our website. Or, download the NICB Fraud Tips app on your iPhone or Android device.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness. The NICB is supported by more than 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $395 billion in insurance premiums in 2014, or more than 78 percent of the nation’s property/casualty insurance. That includes more than 93 percent ($176 billion) of the nation’s personal auto insurance. To learn more visit www.nicb.org.

 

 

Warming Up Your Car Might Leave You Standing in the Cold

As we first reported last April the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) found a disturbing trend — an increasing number of thefts of vehicles with the keys left inside.

NICBKeysThe reasons that people leave keys in their vehicles are numerous, but none of them is worth the hassle of having your car stolen. Leaving your vehicle running while you run into a store for a quick cup of coffee or to warm it up before a chilly winter commute might make sense to an individual, but it creates a perfect moment for a car thief who looks for such an opportunity.

Earlier today Good Morning America reported on these types of crimes.

The top five states that posted the most vehicle thefts with keys during this reporting period were California (19,597), Texas (8,796), Florida (7,868), Michigan (7,726), and Ohio (7,452). The top five core-based statistical areas (CBSA) were Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (6,185), Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI (4,882), Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA (3,234), Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (3,141) and New York-Newark-Jersey City (2,917).

Looking at day-of-week data, Saturday saw the most thefts with keys (19,147) followed by Friday (18,719) and Monday (18,647).

The full NICB report can be viewed and downloaded here.


Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800-TEL-NICB (800-835-6422), texting keyword “fraud” to TIP411 (847411) or submitting a form on our website. Or, download the NICB Fraud Tips app on your iPhone or Android device.