Ohio leads all other U.S. states for metal theft insurance claims

Copper TheftAccording to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Ohio is the state in which there are the largest number of property insurance claims due to the theft of metals such as copper.

This insurance fraud-fighting industry-supported organization revealed that there were 2,398 claims of this nature made by property owners in Ohio, within the three year span from 2009 to 2011. Comparatively, across the country, there were more than 25,000 claims of this type within that same period of time. This represents an increase of 81 percent over the number of claims that were made in the three-years that ran from 2006 to 2008.

In second place, behind Ohio’s top spot, was Texas, followed by Georgia, and then California and Illinois. On the other hand, in terms of the top metro areas where this type of claim were made, the cities ranked at the top of the list by the National Insurance Crime Bureau were: Chicago, New York City, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Detroit.

It is believed that the reason that the high number of thefts is occurring is the direct result of the economy’s continued struggle to recover, and the high prices of metals such as copper. Thieves steal cables, plumbing, and air conditioners, which leads to losses worth millions of dollars every year.

The Bureau explained that there had been a steady rise in these thefts starting in August 2009, across the country, and that they were caused by increasing base metal prices, particularly in the case of copper.

In order to try to decrease the instance of these thefts, the Ohio Senate passed a bill last week that states that dealers are no longer permitted to purchase these metals from any seller who refuses to be photographed. The image of that seller must be kept for a minimum of 60 days after the sale.

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