Heavy Lifting in Lone Star State
ing the top spots. Dugan added that John
Deere, Caterpillar, and Melroe models
were the most desired by thieves, and that
newer models of HE were “more likely to
be stolen and recovered than those man-
ufactured before 2000.”
This is a stark contrast to the proclivities
of last year’s auto thieves, as evidenced by
the NICB’s 2010 Hot Wheels report, which
also analyzes data supplied by the NCIC.
That report revealed the 1994 Honda Ac-
cord to be the most stolen car in 2010. Of
the nearly 52,000 Accords reported stolen
in 2010, more than 44,000 were models
made in the 1990s, compared with fewer
than 5,700 that were produced since the
year 2000. The NICB attributed the gravi-
tation toward older models to the im-
provement of theft-deterring technologies
available in newer vehicles.
Although auto theft is gradually declining on the national level, there is no word
yet as to whether HE theft will trend similarly. For now, the problem continues to
weigh heavily on insurers and owners of
loaders, wheel-type tractors, backhoes,
forklift, excavators, bulldozers, and other
equipment. —By Christina Bramlet
LATEST NICB STATS
Aside from ravenous wild- fires, Texans are battling another pernicious foe: rampant heavy equipment
(HE) theft. That’s what the findings of the
latest National Insurance Crime Bureau
(NICB) ForeCAST report suggest anyway.
In the report, which was released on
Sept. 7, NICB analyzed data gathered by
the National Crime Information Center
(NCIC) on (non-mower) HE thefts and
recoveries for the 2010 calendar year in
the U.S., based on the theft state, city,
month, equipment manufacturer, equipment style, and manufactured year.
The NCIC logged 6,474 HE larcenies last
year, of which only 28 percent—or 1,805—
were recovered, making this a costly crime
for insurers, owners of “big ticket” equipment, and rental agencies alike.
NICB Strategist Analyst Erin Dugan
noted that the problem is most pronounced in the “Sun Belt” region of the
country. The most heavily affected state
was Texas, as 1,023 thefts happened on
Lone Star soil. Moreover, Texas cities
claimed half of the NICB’s “Top 10” hotbeds for theft of this type of equipment.
2010 Heavy Equipment
Top 10 Cities
Mia mi, FL
H o usto n, T X
Las vegas, NV
Sacre m ento, CA
D alla s, T X
Landover, M D
San Antonio, TX
A ustin, TX
Source: National Insurance Crime Bureau
Trailing Texas in terms of the greatest
incidence of HE thefts were California,
Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, South
Carolina, Oklahoma, Maryland, Ohio,
and Alabama—occupying spots two
through 10, respectively. These ten states
accounted for 58 percent—or 3,736—of
all HE thefts in the U.S. last year.
The above chart reflects the high concentration of theft in that region, with
Miami, Fla. and Houston, Texas claim-
SPeAKiNG oF FIgHTINg FRAuD WITH TECHNOLOgy
As fraudsters continue to play their games, SIUs must keep up with
the new and intricate ways that these scams are carried out. There
are more and more questions now being asked of policyholders to
ensure that they are telling the truth about their claims, but things
can get confusing when thousands of claims follow major catastrophic events such as this summer’s Hurricane Irene.
The NICB continues to improve upon and expand its fraud-fighting
methods in various ways. One way is by expanding its online presence in order to keep more people in the know. Claims’ Catherine
Couretas spoke with Joe Wehrle, NICB president and CEO, to learn
more about the organization’s comprehensive formula for success,
which includes a new Interactive Indicator Guide, webinars, and an
aggressive social media plan.
pers to try and find the right questions to ask.
Now, we have put everything in an interactive
guide, so the information is in one central location rather than in 28 sets of papers. Additionally, the information can now be cross-referenced. More questions are asked based on
how previous questions are answered. Someone may encounter a situation and as his or her
initial question is answered, another series of
questions populate, referencing the person to
another type of fraud to consider.
Fighting Fraud with technology
With Joe Wehrle, Nicb President and ceo
G Joseph H. Wehrle Jr.is
president and ceo at the
tell me about the interactive indicator Guide.
What we’ve done in the past is provide member companies with papers
on various types of fraud. They would have to search through these pa-
What are the results that members companies are seeing
from the use of this system?
I know that it has assisted the speed of access to fraud indicators.
Instead of shuffling around papers, it can be downloaded right on the
computer. The benefits vary depending on how a company chooses to