Watercraft Thefts Up in 2016

Reflecting a similar experience with vehicles, the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) annual watercraft theft report shows a one percent increase in watercraft theft in 2016, reversing a multi-year downward trend. A total of 5,116 watercraft were reported stolen between January 1 and December 31, 2016. 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:

The top five cities for thefts in descending order were:

The top five types of watercraft stolen were:

The top five manufacturers for watercraft thefts were:

Most thefts in 2016 occurred during the spring and summer months with July recording the highest number with 671. February recorded the fewest with 223.

Download the complete watercraft report and an infographic.

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 feet
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 383 thefts would include pre-2003 models.

 

Fraud Files: Multi-Million Dollar Health Care Fraud

In this edition of Fraud Files we focus on a multi-million dollar scam in south Florida. Seven defendants including owners, doctors, a manager, and a laboratory representative of sober homes and alcohol and drug addiction treatment centers were charged for their participation in a health care fraud and money laundering scheme that involved the filing of fraudulent insurance claim forms and defrauded health care benefit programs.

Hurricane Matthew Could Bring a Storm of Fraudsters

As Hurricane Matthew begins to approach Florida and the southeastern part of the United States damage and significant flooding is expected. The National Insurance Crime Bureau is warning residents of these areas to be on alert for contractor scams after the storm passes.

Becoming a victim of a natural disaster may be impossible to avoid. You can, however, avoid being victimized by dishonest contractors often found lurking in their wake.

After a natural disaster, salespeople go door to door in damaged neighborhoods, offering cleanup or repair services. While many of these businesses are honest and reputable, others are not. The dishonest ones may pocket the payment without completing the job or use inferior materials and perform shoddy work not up to code.

The NICB recommends these tips before you act on a contractor’s offer for services.

  • Work with only licensed and insured contractors.
  • Get more than one estimate. Don’t be pushed into signing a contract right away.
  • Get everything in writing.
  • Require references, and check them out.
  • Never sign a contract with blanks. Fraudulent contractors may enter unacceptable terms later.
  • Never pay in full.

For more tips you can download our disaster fraud brochure here.

Watercraft Thefts Sink 6% (Again) in 2014

boatAs boat owners begin the annual task of winterizing and dry docking their boats for the season, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that watercraft theft continues to drop.

NICB’s annual report looks at watercraft theft and recoveries in the United States, and examines watercraft* reported stolen between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014. The report is based on data from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Overall, there were 5,181 watercraft thefts reported during 2014, a six percent decrease from 2013 when 5,537 thefts were recorded. This is the second year in a row that watercraft thefts have dropped six percent: the number of thefts in 2012 was 5,870.

The top five states for thefts in descending order were:

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 8.16.25 AM

No watercraft thefts were reported from Hawaii or the District of Columbia.

The top five types of watercraft stolen in 2014 were:

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 8.16.31 AM

 

The top five manufacturers for watercraft thefts were:

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 8.16.39 AM

On average, there were approximately 14 watercraft thefts per day, 100 per week, or 432 per month in 2014. Most thefts occurred during the spring and summer months with July recording the highest number with 667. February recorded the fewest with 223.

Download the watercraft report and an infographic.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 8.09.30 AMBoat 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.

Watercraft-Theft-Report-Infographic-2015-edit2

Insurance Fraud Headlines for June 8, 2015

Here are the top insurance fraud stories for today:

* Insurance fraud charges against Johnson Co. woman (WSVX)

* Ohio Man Ordered to Repay $3K for Workers’ Comp Fraud (Workers’ Compensation)

* Florida Attorney General Recognizes District Employees (Justice.gov)

* Thousands of flooded cars could be resold to unsuspecting buyers (Dallas News)

* Buying a used car? Read this first (MarketWatch)

* Don’t Get Tricked into Purchasing a Flooded Car (NICB Blog)

Insurance Fraud Headlines for May 20, 2015

Here are the top insurance fraud stories for today:

operationflamesandflood

“Operation Flames and Flood Two”

* 31 Charged in Insurance Fraud Sweep (NBC Miami)

* Daring Thieves Targeting the Toyota Prius For Its Hybrid Battery (Yahoo)

* Mopeds and scooters are being stolen at an alarming rate in Las Vegas (KLAS-TV)

* $1.3 million cell-phone insurance fraud charges (Los Angeles City and Press)

 

 

Insurance Fraud Headlines for May 7, 2015

Here are the top insurance fraud stories for today:

* Student Who Went Missing After Trying to Sell Car Through Craigslist Found Dead (KTLA)

* Body Shop Owner Defrauds Insurance Companies of Over $1.3 Million (NICB Blog)

* Former Insurance Broker Pleads Guilty to Nationwide Phony Trucking Cargo Insurance Fraud Scheme (Justice.gov)

* NICB Named Interactive Health’s 2014 “Healthiest Companies in America” (NICB Blog)

* 8 Broward County Residents Arrested for Involvement in PIP Fraud Scam (MyFloridaCFO)

Insurance Fraud Headlines for April 24, 2015

FraudApril24Here are today’s top insurance fraud stories:

* Man Involved in Multi-State Theft Ring Faces New Charge (Insurance News)

* Florida Man convicted of insurance fraud (Command Investigations)]

* Poughkeepsie man charged with insurance fraud (MidHudson News)

* Woman pleads guilty to forgery, insurance fraud (TribLIVE)

* Alleged Theft Ring Mastermind Faces New Insurance Fraud Charge (TriState)

 

Insurance Fraud Headlines for April 22, 2015

Here are the top insurance fraud stories for today:

* New safety features reducing auto accidents (Insurance Information Institute)

* Three Virginia women face federal charges related to student loans, insurance fraud (IFA)

* Florida Man Ousted in Comp Fraud Case (Workerscompensation.com)

* Miami Man Sentenced for Identity Theft Tax Fraud Scheme Involving the Unauthorized       Use of Debit Cards (FBI)

* Toronto man charged with auto insurance fraud (Canadian Underwriter)

* Washington State Man Tackled in Comp Fraud (Workerscompensation.com)