Vehicles left inoperable by Hurricane Ivan will begin being shipped to the United States for disposal in about two weeks, Cayman Islands Recovery Operation operations manager Mark Scotland said Friday.
However, the number of Ivan-damaged cars heading off the island will be much less than originally expected.
It was estimated by Cayman’s insurance industry that 10,000 cars were destroyed by Ivan.
However, Mr. Scotland said MC Restoration, the company contracted to remove hurricane debris, has not seen anywhere close to that number.
‘Just over 1,500 cars have been collected until now,’ he said.
Mr. Scotland said he was not sure where the other 8,500 cars are, but noted that some cars that were written off are now back on Cayman’s roads.
Ken Chand, Branch Manager of Motor & General Insurance Company, was not surprised at the discrepancy of numbers.
‘It just means that insurance companies were inflating the number of cars that were destroyed,’ he said. ‘I said initially that that there were only about 5,000 cars that would be scrap.’
Mr. Chand said most of the Ivan damaged cars were repairable, even with storm surge damage.
‘Just look at all the traffic,’ he said. ‘Most of these cars are back on the road.’
Mr. Chand said repairing written off vehicles is a way for some buyers to get good deals on cars, but a necessity for others.
‘The poor guy with just third party insurance doesn’t have a choice but to repair the car,’ he said.
Motor & General went against the post-Ivan trend buy taking title to the written off vehicles.
‘I decided that if I’m going to pay for the car, I want the car,’ he said.
To date, Motor & General has resold more than 90 cars written off because of damage caused by Hurricane Ivan.
‘I’ve put $120,000 in the books for these cars,’ he said.
Besides the cars that have been repaired and are now back on the roads, some Ivan-damaged cars have been shipped to Jamaica and Honduras, Mr. Chand said.
MC Restoration has been contracted to dispose of some 8,000 vehicles, Mr. Scotland said.
Should MC Restoration not collect that many vehicles for disposal, as it appears will be the case, Mr. Scotland said there is another option for Government.
‘I would encourage the Government to take advantage of the opportunity by removing some of the cars at the landfill,’ he said.