It's March, But It Looks Like a Winter Wonderland Across Many States

NICB Warns that Thieves Don't Rest Due to Snow or Cold

DES PLAINES, Ill., March 17, 2021 — As wintery weather continues to march across the country, the National Insurance Crime Bureau advises people to stay alert to potential criminal activity.


Those looking to run out and go snowmobiling one more time should be aware that snowmobile thefts have remained steady from 2019 to 2020. A report from the NICB shows that about 58% of snowmobiles reported stolen in 2019 and 2020 have not been recovered.

Protecting your snowmobile takes only a few common-sense steps. If you are not using your snowmobile, remove the keys and take them with you. Keep your snowmobile in a locked location such as a garage or yard shed. If you have a snowmobile trailer, keep it stored separately from your snowmobile. If you store them together, install a trailer hitch locking device preventing it from being connected to another vehicle. Lastly, keep its registration up to date.

As the weather chills and snow falls, the NICB reminds drivers to stay with their cars when they warm them up in the morning before heading out. In some states, this act, called “puffing,” is illegal. But whether legal or not, leaving your car warming in the driveway while you remain in the house is asking for an opportunistic thief to jump in and take off.

The NICB has produced public service announcements on this subject for both radio and television and in English and Spanish.

Contractor Fraud Tips

These recent winter storms may cause some damage to personal property. Should a tree or branch fall and cause damage to your house, or you simply need to have the debris removed, contact your insurer first, and be certain to check the license and references of a contractor before hiring them to repair any damage. Rules and regulations vary by state, so be sure to check licensing requirements in your area. Sometimes, deceitful contractors will take advantage of disaster victims, oftentimes unsolicited. A basic rule of thumb when working with contractors is if you didn’t request it, reject it.

If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, call the NICB at 1-800-TEL-NICB. For additional information on hiring contractors, follow this link.

Media Contact

If you have a question, want further information on the NICB, or to discuss insurance fraud or vehicle crime, please contact:

Joe Brenckle
Director, Public Affairs

Nicholas Zeitlinger
Public Affairs Specialist

If you are a reporter and have a request or question, please complete the Media Request Form.

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422) or submitting a form on our website.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to combatting and preventing insurance crime through Intelligence, Analytics, and Operations; Education and Crime Prevention; and Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy. The NICB is supported by more than 1,200 property-casualty insurers, self-insureds, rental car, vehicle finance, and auto auctions. To learn more, visit