Adverts offering motor insurance for as little as £100 on social media, student websites or money saving forums could be ‘ghost brokers’.
These ‘ghost brokers’ are scam insurers that have been gaining in popularity over the last three years and could leave you driving uninsured.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau is currently handling over 70 investigations into fraudulent car insurance; a massive increase from 11 in 2015.
What is ‘ghost broking’?
Ghost broking works in one of two ways: the broker purchases an insurance policy from a legitimate provider using fake information, which is edited before being sold; or they create a fraudulent policy document designed to look like a legitimate policy.
Whichever scam is used, those caught out could end up having no insurance at all; suffering large fines plus losing out on the money they paid in the first place.
What happens if I purchase fake insurance?
If you’ve bought a ‘too good to be true’ policy, chances are it is. Buying insurance from a ghost broker has the same effect as driving without cover: something you’re unfortunately unlikely to notice until you’re pulled over or need to claim. If you’re caught driving without insurance, you face fixed penalty notices of £300 and will be liable for damage or compensation incurred in an accident. Furthermore, your car could be seized, and you will not only need to purchase valid insurance but also pay large fees to release your car from the pound.
What can I do about it?
If you’ve been offered an insurance deal which sounds too good to be true, there are ways to check it’s coming from a legitimate source.
Firstly, check the seller has a proper website, UK phone number and postal address like https://www.quotemetoday.co.uk/motor-trade-insurance/ and be wary of anyone who only provides a phone number or email.
Secondly, check your broker is registered with the British Insurance Brokers’ Association or, if buying directly through an insurer, they should be a member of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau.
Finally, any car or motor trade insurance should be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which is an added layer of protection for consumers.
If you think you’ve spotted or been caught out by a ghost broker, report it straight away to the Insurance Fraud Bureau.