and/or damaged vehicles into one of its
137 facilities. Aside from helping communities and policyholders resume some
semblance of business as usual, this type
of service can significantly impact customer retention.
Please Be Kind; Rewind
“An insurer would hire us to move an
affected vehicle out of place that would
normally charge a daily fee, such as an
impound lot,” Lowy explained. “A car
would have been towed following a wreck
and declared a total loss. We would then
move the vehicle to a facility that is secure
with managed inventory where claim estimators can enter a safe environment in
which to survey damages. The owners of
the vehicles can also come to retrieve personal effects while settling the claim with
the adjuster assigned to the case.
“Once the vehicle claim has been settled, we can then capture the title and
documents from policyholder and convert to a sellable title, depending upon
Auto salvage dealers must abide by stringent local and national regulations for waste
generated by salvaged automobiles. Many individual auto salvage dealers have also initiated
their own programs to further reduce the potential effects of dangerous materials on their
businesses and communities.
Automotive wrecking and recycling contributes in several ways to preserving natural
resources, including the following:
E Reducing the demand for scarce landfill space.
E Conserving energy through the recycling of oil and plastics. An estimated 10 million gallons
of oil and 6. 5 million tires are recycled annually from automobiles.
E Reducing air and water pollution.
E Reducing solid waste.
The symbiotic relationship between salvage companies and insurers is key to the success
of both, especially in the current economic climate. Some estimates point to 80 percent of
collision parts revenue being tied to insurance claims.
Source: Automotive Recycling Association
Ostensibly, a provider such as Copart
liquidates damaged vehicles for the insurer to then recoup some of the money
it has paid as a result of the claim. Copart specifically uses a proprietary online
auction called VB2.
“Where eBay ends, VB2 begins be-
cause it is truly a live auction,” Lowy said.
“It is like attending a live auction, through
two separate models for bidding.”
The issue of salvage underscores the
importance of meticulous CAT planning
as a whole.
“CAT support takes to whole new
level,” Lowy explained. “When deal-
ing with the devastation from Katrina ,
we dealt with the removal of hundreds
of thousands of flooded vehicles bog-
ging down streets and neighborhoods.
Somebody has to deal with the vehicles
scattered about the city streets and
Copart uses custom technology to
identify vehicles insured by the carri-
ers that enlist its services. The company
also employs its mobile CAT response
unit to facilitate communication be-
tween carriers and their insureds at
times, including the tornadoes in Joplin
this past spring.
“Our work in the Joplin area shows
how we operate in areas so devastated by
weather events that there is really nothing around remotely resembling cars or
dwelling,” Lowy said. “Upon arrival, we
find land immediately and open up operations with mobile CAT unit. Being up
and running so quickly enables us to help
the city with its clean up. That involves
coordinating efforts with local officials,
the police department, and others.
“Often they are happy to see us because
we can help them establish normalcy and