Insurance companies overwhelmed with claims for car damage

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DENVER -- Our epic flooding is now flooding insurance companies with claims for car damage.

That means a boom in business for some industries: auto repair companies in the hardest hit areas—and car rental companies.

It’s a mark that spells the end of many of these car’s lives on the road.

“You’ll be able to see here some pretty substantial water lines,” says Jack Racciatti, a State Farm catastrophe claims representative.

He and other reps inspect about 100 flood-damaged cars at Littleton salvage yard, Total Rescue Source.

“We estimate the damages, determine if vehicles can be repaired or considered a total loss,” he says.

They see a lot of caked mud, a lot of totaled cars, a lot of water damage.

“The higher it is the more components it can effect, including the engine and electronics.”

Marv’s Quality Towing brought in 125 flood-ravaged vehicles over just two days last week.

And about 90 flood-damaged cars pack the parking lot of Gerber Collision and Glass.

“The water was up to my window,” says flood victim, Cecilia Taddiken, about her terrifying ride through rising flood waters last Thursday.

Her 2001 BMW is totaled.

Her loss means a boom for another industry: car rentals.

“I had to wait a couple days for a rental. As you know, there are no rentals in Boulder. So, I had to wait. I was on a waiting list,” she says.

“It did ingest water,” says one claims rep to another, as they inspect vehicle after vehicle.

It’s a natural disaster that’s meant about 500 claims so far for the state’s largest insurance company—and it knows more will flood in.

“You can imagine, there are areas they haven’t even got to,” says Racciatti.

But Carole Walker with Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association says this flood doesn’t even begin to compare to the damaged inflicted by some of our larger hailstorms.