NICB: Ohio continues to lead country in scrap metal theft claims

Staff report

COLUMBUS – The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reports that Ohio continues to lead the country in 2012-14 insurance metal theft claims. For the fourth consecutive year of this report, Ohio ranked first in the US in metal theft claims to insurance companies. NICB’s report for 2012-14 finds Ohio generated 4,438 metal theft claims, followed by Pennsylvania (2,770), Texas (2,379), New Jersey (2,192) and California (2,127).

In its report for 2012-14, the NICB reports US insured scrap metal theft claims declined 8 percent between 2012 and 2014. Of the 39,993 total claims in that period, the vast majority (98%) pertained to the theft of copper. Of these claims, 53% were personal insurance policy claims, with the remaining 47% were commercial claims. According to the NICB, a correlation was found to exist between the number of metal theft claims and copper prices.

Three Ohio metro areas ranked in the top 10 US cities for metal theft claims, according to the NICB’s 2012-14 Metal Theft Claims and Questionable Claim Referrals report:

6th Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 903*

7th Cleveland-Elyria 895

9th Columbus 779

*Cincinnati metro area includes parts of KY & IN

Last year’s report had Ohio ranked first, with 4,144 metal theft claims for the reporting period of 2011-13. Ranking second through fifth were: Texas, California, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

The NICB indicates that while many more metal thefts occur than are reported to law enforcement agencies across the US, they do not necessarily trigger claims. According to the Ohio Insurance Institute (OII) if the damage is not covered by insurance or the loss is below or near the insurance policy’s deductible, it would likely not be a reported insurance claim.

Staff report