March 11, 2020 at 1:58 PM
Motor insurance fraud remains a big issue in the United Kingdom. According to Go Compare car insurance is likely to reach record highs in 2020 and one of the main factors for the accelerated costs is insurance fraud.
Here is everything you need to know about car insurance fraudsters, condensed into this short article, to save you thousands of pounds on too-good-to-be true deals.
What is car insurance fraud?
The most prominent and commons method of organised car insurance fraud is ghost brokers. Often, the insurance fraudster will pose as a genuine car insurance broker, acting as the negotiating point between a driver and insurance companies, and take advantage of unsuspecting motorists looking for a quick and cheap deal.
They engage in several different types of fraud which include application fraud (changing a drivers details to significantly reduce the price of the policy but since the information is incorrect it invalidates your policy), forging entire documents and or selling phony policies.
They sometimes even go to the extreme of buying genuine policy versions from official companies but then modifying and falsifying them before passing them on.
How to identify a car insurance fraudster
If you’re approached online via Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or WhatsApp by someone claiming to be a broker, you should always be wary. Ghost brokers are most active online and target young and newly-qualified drivers in their 20s. Since young drivers are keen to discover discounted cover, they’re the first to become victims.
Most ghost brokers therefore strategically place adverts on student forums or money-saving forums where they prey on unsuspecting students searching for insurance quotes.
If something feels doubtful or an advert appears to be unofficial, trust your instincts and walk away from the deal because it probably isn’t genuine. To further verify if a broker is authorised log on to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website and check their details there.
How can you help fight fraud and report it?
Reading, asking questions about and understanding the specific details of your insurance policy is your first and most formidable defense. Refuse to sign any documents or agree to anything without thoroughly vetting it.
If you suspect auto insurance fraud, take immediate action by contacting your insurance company directly and then the local police. Check all details with the insurance company and they’ll be able to confirm whether the policy is genuine or not.
You can go a step further and check whether your car is insured via the Motor Insurers’ Database but the validity of your insurance could still be in question because of falsified information by the ghost broker.
If you discover your insurance isn’t valid, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 and/or the Insurance Fraud Bureau on 0800 422 0421 to report the fraud and get advice on further advice. Meanwhile secure a short term cover so you can continue driving until you get a genuine policy in place.