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State warns used car buyers of vehicles damaged by Sandy

Cars are submerged entrance parking garage New York's Financial District aftermath superstorm Sandy Oct. 30 2012. Secretary State Jesse White

Cars are submerged at the entrance to a parking garage in New York's Financial District in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy on Oct. 30, 2012. Secretary of State Jesse White Jr. is warning Illinois residents to beware of flood-damaged cars from Superstorm

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If you’re in the market for a used car, be careful to avoid water-damaged vehicles that may have come from areas hit by Hurricane Sandy.

In an effort to protect Illinois consumers, Sec. of State Jesse White has instructed his office to closely monitor title applications involving potential flood vehicles from last month’s hurricane.

The secretary of state’s office will screen title applications from states impacted by Hurricane Sandy to determine if vehicles are registered in a flood county, a release from White’s office said.

White is requiring applicants for those titles to submit a Hurricane Disclosure Statement to obtain a clean Illinois title. The statement must be signed by the registered owner of the vehicle and the insurance agent at the time of the storm. Any applicant unable or unwilling to supply the form will receive an Illinois Flood title only.

Reports indicate that as many as 250,000 vehicles may be affected by the hurricane’s flood waters, the release said. This compares to 325,000 vehicles that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

White urged consumers to actively research a vehicle as much as possible before making a purchase. Consumers may want to consult companies that provide additional information about the history of vehicles and have a mechanic inspect a vehicle before buying.



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