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All Those Flood Damaged Vehicles…

Flood Damaged Vehicles

300,000 – 500,000 is the September estimate of severely damaged or destroyed vehicles from Hurricane Harvey according to Cox Automotive, the parent company of Kelley Blue Book. Add in Hurricane Irma and other flood events from across the United States this year and that number quickly grows.

What happens to all those vehicles?

The answer to this question depends on whether the vehicle was insured.

For those vehicles that are insured, a claim is filed and an adjuster inspects the vehicle. If it is declared a total loss, then the vehicle ends up at an auto recycler for dismantling. If it can be refurbished, it is given a salvage title based on its flood experience and a history report will list the repairs. Unfortunately, not all dealers are upfront with information, so it’s a good idea to always ask about the title and request to see a history report before purchasing.

For the uninsured vehicles, the process is up to the owner. They can follow the same path for a total loss or get a salvage title, but that’s not always the case. With flood damage, the effects may not be visible at first allowing these vehicles to stay on the road without a change to their titles or history.

What’s the problem with flood damage?

While our vehicles are designed for the outdoors and to survive rain or some standing water, they are not designed to be submerged. We may think of this affecting our brakes or the engine, which it does, but our vehicles today also have electronics throughout. Most of the electronics are there to make our vehicles safer and we may not notice their damage until we need them.

Are there signs of flood damage?

It may be hard to tell if a vehicle has been in flood, especially if it’s been dried out and cleaned up, but NADA, Autotrader & Kelley Blue Book all have tips to help identify a vehicle that may have been in a flood. We have combine their lists into these 6 tips:

  1. How does it smell? A first sign of water damage may be a musty odor.
  2. Check the vehicle history, VIN and title for a history of flood or water related repairs. Also, check that the VIN on the title and reports match the VIN on the vehicle. In some cases a vehicle can pass inspection and be given a new, clean title and new VIN number.
  3. See if there are interior water stains that are not related to normal use (like a window left open).
  4. Is there dirt, grit or even mud in places it shouldn’t be? Check under the hood, in the trunk and around the spare tire.
  5. Test all the powered features, like the windows, door locks and mirrors to see if they function properly, consistently or not at all.
  6. Is there rust where it shouldn’t be based on normal use? For example, on screws in the console.

Hilton featured in MBJ
October 18, 2016

Susan HiltonOn October 14, 2016, Susan Hilton, first vice president of The Harry A. Koch Co., was featured in the Working Women special section of the Midlands Business Journal.  The topic of discussion was buying insurance for working women.  Susan stressed the importance of protecting your savings and retirement plans – especially in the event of a tragedy or unexpected event. She went on to say that misfortunes and high medical bills could wipe out savings and derail retirement plans.  To learn more how to protect yourself now and in retirement, contact Susan at 402-861-7086 or

Koch Employees Play Minute to Win It!
October 17, 2016

Our employees work hard every day for our clients, so we asked ourselves…why not let them play hard as well!? On Friday, October 14th, teams of employees played six different Minute to Win It games. We had a great time and winning teams received prizes.  Koch also provided lunch for their employees from the Localmotive food truck! Congratulations to our winning team – Robin Hawley, Mary Long and Becky Verespej!  Koch believes in working hard, but also having fun doing it!


Wilberger Addresses Cyber Liability Issues in MBJ and on KVNO Radio
September 15, 2016

Clyde MBJOn August 19th, 2016, Clyde Wilberger, Sr. Vice President, was featured in the Midland’s Business Journal’s Property & CasualtyInsurance special section.  Clyde discussed how cyber liability has evolved and how it is crucial to get coverage for your business.  He was also the guest speaker for KVNO’s Omaha Business Brief with Ryan Robertson on September 5th. Please click here to listen. For more detailed information or to discuss your specific risk, contact Clyde at 402-861-7174 or

Lichty featured in MBJ
September 14, 2016

Heath in MBJOn September 9, 2016, Heath Lichty, Sales Executive for HAK, was featured in Midlands Business Journal’s special section, Life Insurance.  He discussed how life insurance can be used by business owners as a valuable planning tool as it relates to risk management, liquidity and buy-sell agreements.  Want to learn more?  Contact Heath today at 402-861-7015 or

Koch’s Centennial Featured in the Omaha World-Herald
September 7, 2016

On Wednesday, September 7th, The Harry A. Koch Co. was featured in the Omaha World-Herald for turning 100 years old and for insuring one of the world’s best zoos. The article also contained a brief history of our organization and highlighted the leaders of our business throughout the years. To view the entire article, please click here.

Did you know?

Koch with GunIn the 1920s, the founder of our company, Harry A. Koch, Sr. donated land at Seymour Smith Park (68th & Harrison) for a trap and skeet shooting range.  Mr. Koch was an avid hunter. At the age of 59, he gave up golf and turned to trap shooting. Shortly after, he went on to national competition in major tournaments around the continent and even won 2nd place in a championship in Havana, Cuba. In May of 2014, the complex underwent a $200,000 renovation.   It is now a world-class shooting facility.

Did you know?

In 1989, the Harry A. and Gail Koch family donated Doorly’s Pride to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. Doorly’s Pride is a heroic bronze sculpture of a pride of 12 lions, which was installed in the entry plaza area.  As visitors enter the zoo from the main entrance, the sculpture is very visible and on many occasions, one will see children climbing on and parents taking photos with this amazing and majestic statue.

Zoo Lions

(Photo: from left, Mrs. Graham W.J. Beal, Harry Koch and Graham W.J. Beal, director of Joslyn Art Museum at the Zoofari fundraiser in 1989.)