Is Your Insurance Policy Genuine?
We all want to cut the cost of our car insurance.
Unfortunately, we know that if you’re a young driver or have just passed your test, the high premium cost of your insurance policy will leave you significantly out of pocket as insurers will deem you at higher risk of accidents.
Understandably, this leaves a lot of new and young drivers shopping around for the best deals. But many have fallen victim to fraudsters: ‘ghost brokers’ will pose as middle men offering to cut insurance costs. Some will post on well-known listings websites such as Gumtree, student websites or University notice boards posing as well known insurance brands to target young drivers.
Ways in which ghost brokers are fooling drivers:
1. The crudest type of ghost broking is a false policy which is a copy of a genuine policy created by the fraudster. If you have fallen victim to this type of fraud, you are lucky in that it is the easiest to spot. If you don’t believe your policy to be genuine, you can check your cover with the motor insurance database askMID.com.
2. The second broker scam is when a ghost broker takes out a genuine policy on the behalf of the customer, using the correct customer and vehicle details. This means that if the customer checks with the motor insurance database to validate, they will be listed as covered. However, the ghost broker will then cancel the policy, pocketing any refunded money and leaving the unsuspected customer driving around without cover.
3. The third is when a ghost broker will take out a genuine policy on the behalf of the customer, but will alter some of the customer details in order to pay lower premiums. There is still a genuine policy in place but it is not valid as it has been purchased fraudulently.
Although last year saw a huge crackdown on Ghost Brokers, there are still steps you should take to ensure that your insurance policy is genuine as duped customers not only lose their cash to these ghost brokers but risk a criminal record.
How to check if you have a genuine insurance policy
1. The very first step if you are at all concerned about the insurance you have bought is to get in direct contact with the insurer named on your policy. Double check that they have the correct details for both you and your vehicle and request the policy documents and payment plan be sent to you.
2. Check that the broker you used was reputable – you can do this by researching as to whether he or she was a member of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) when you purchased the insurance.
3. Check that your vehicle is registered – checking on the asMID.com website is a great way to do this: this site is a valid insurance policy database and a quick search should let you know if you own a genuine policy.
4. When purchasing your insurance, be wary of anyone who asks for cash up front. This seems obvious, but reputable brokers will be willing to accept credit card payments so always ask to pay this way. Legitimate brokers will also be able to provide you with clear terms and conditions.
5. Don’t be dazzled by the ads that promise significant undercuts to what is deemed a typical price for your desired cover. Any ‘too good to be true’ deals or fixed price insurance is more than likely just that.
‘Get A Real Deal’ warn young drivers of the dangers of fake insurance policies.