Catastrophic events can be devastating. Homes, personal possessions, and lives can be damaged if not lost. When your vehicle is damaged and deemed a total loss your life can be tremendously disrupted. As an insurance company policyholder with a total loss vehicle, you want to get your claim settled quickly. The following are several key tips to help ensure that when your vehicle is picked up by one of our professional tow truck operators, the process is efficient and allows you to continue the process of securing a replacement vehicle.

You can also download the key tips here!


TIP #1

Call Your Insurance Company. If you’ve been in an accident or your vehicle has been damaged due to a weather catastrophe (flood, hurricane, tornado, etc.) call your insurance company and follow their specific instructions.


TIP #2

Do Not Move Your Vehicle. Especially if your vehicle has been submerged in water. Vehicles have electrical components which can potentially ignite when them come in contact with water such as from a flood. Our professional tow truck operators are trained to safely move vehicles that have been flooded.


TIP #3

Secure Your Title. If you have the vehicle title in your possession and do not have a vehicle loan, place your title in a well-marked envelope. Once you have contacted your insurance company regarding your vehicle, follow your insurance company’s instructions on what to do with your title.


TIP #4

Remove Personal Items. Thoroughly check your vehicle and remove any and all personal items. This will potentially protect any personal information and save you valuable time by eliminating the need to pick your personal items up. Be sure to check the following locations:

  • Trunk
  • Glove compartment
  • Back pocket of seats
  • Pockets and holders on doors
  • All compartments between seats
  • Under and between seats
  • Under mats
  • In visors

TIP #5

Locate All Keys. Find all keys for your vehicle and place them in a well-marked envelope or a zip lock bag. Place keys are under the driver’s side floor mat or in the glove compartment and leave your vehicle unlocked. The keys will allow our professional tow truck operators to safely unlock the steering wheel and if needed steer the car as it is pulled onto the tow truck.


TIP #6

Remove License Plates. Remove both the front and back license plates from the vehicle. This will save you valuable time from having to apply for new plates and spend time at the DMV. This also potentially protects any personal information.


TIP #7

Clear a Path to the Vehicle. If the vehicle is in the driveway, don’t have any other operating vehicles parked in its path to the road or debris piled behind or in front of the vehicle. Our professional tow truck drivers want to secure your total loss vehicle as easily as possible without damaging your property or other items.


IAA works with towers across the US. In times of catastrophe we expand our national towing network to help move the increased volume of vehicles. We offer a per vehicle towed compensation rate, per diem, and a potential bonus structure. If you’d like to be a part of our responder team in an affected area, click on the link below.  

IAA Transportation

CAT Updates

IAA wants to ensure that all customers are provided with the most up to date information during and after catastrophic weather events. During a catastrophic event, IAA will update this page regularly to alert customers of the storm and IAA's movements.

California Wildfire Update

Both the Woolsey and Camp fires are now 100% contained, but fire crews continue to monitor for hot spots.



  • Woolsey and Camp Fires are both 100% contained, but fire crews continue monitoring for hot spots.
  • Camp Fire area is still under evacuation orders due to potential mudslides. Heavy rain is expected through Thursday, and the Mayor has announced that it could be next week before access may be allowed in some areas for residents only.
  • Camp Fire area has been identified as an area with higher levels of asbestos, therefore all debris is considered hazardous at this time. 
  • Camp Fire clean-up plans are still under development.
  • Woolsey fire area remains under an order to not disturb fire debris until clean-up plans are finalized.
  • In both fire areas CalRecycle has been designated as the primary cleanup management agency.  Here is a link to their web page regarding the fires: https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Disaster/Wildfires/.


IAA will continue to monitor the situation to determine what clean-up efforts are planned for these areas, and will work with Local, State and Federal agencies to assist as needed.


Our thoughts are with all of those affected by the fires and those who continue to work to control the containment areas.






Real Estate: IAA has adequate capacity to handle the expected total loss volume resulting from the fires. 




Towing: Towing and recovery equipment is available and ready to service these events, if and when needed.



Provider Information: All total loss vehicles in this area will be considered hazardous waste due to the amount of contaminated ash in the area and any fire retardant which may have fallen onto the vehicles. Due to this, and because of the extreme sensitivity around the overall property losses for customers, IAA will act in a reactionary versus proactive fashion and will work directly with providers and State, Federal and Local Authorities before making any contact with customers regarding vehicle pickups.




All of our IAA California branches are open and running auctions on schedule.



Click here for the latest fire map.


Click here to view the Woolsey Fire Incident Report.


Click here to view the Camp Fire Incident Report.



If you have any questions regarding CAT operations, please contact the following team members:


Neil Davidson
Area Manager

206.422.7034 | ndavidson@iaai.com@iaai.com
Jim Rygg
Executive Sales Director

310.422.9820 | jrygg@iaai.com

IAA Supports Vehicle Dealers During Catastrophes

Our best-in-class Dealer CAT Service allows you to get back in business after weather-related events, clearing your lot of damaged vehicles quickly and maximizing your returns via our auction model. Learn more about how IAA supports vehicle dealers.


A Trusted Partner

From insurance companies and rental firms to auto dealers and parts recyclers, IAA has been a trusted partner for selling and buying vehicles since 1982. Today, our headquarters reside just outside of Chicago in Westchester, Illinois. We’ve established more than 170 corporate-owned auctions across the U.S. and Canada with plans to continue to expand and grow.

With a talented team of more than 2,700 employees, IAA is committed to providing customers with the highest level of service in the industry. We place special emphasis on nurturing strategic partnerships and transforming our product offering to be much more than a salvage auction. From our line of Total Loss Solutions products that help speed up the claim settlement process to developing a global marketplace that connects buyers to the right vehicles to leveraging our business model to turn donated vehicles into funding for charities, IAA is always innovating to provide comprehensive service solutions.

Whether you’re a vehicle buyer or seller, you’ll find the solutions you need to make the most of your auction experience. That’s why we’re the leading experts on the global vehicle marketplace.

IAA Has Mobilized

We have mobilized our towers in the affected area and vehicles are being picked up.

IAA CAT yards and overflow space provide additional space for the increased assignment volume.

We are closely monitoring expected client volume projections to ensure appropriate staffing to support.

Recovery operations are underway as a result of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.

Contact Us

We continue to actively managing operations, transportation, logistics and real estate.