Drivers Warned Of 'Ghost Brokers' Selling Useless Car Insurance Policies
26th November 2013
Road traffic accidents are bad enough, but collisions involving uninsured drivers are even more frustrating. People can still claim compensation through the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, but doing so can be a lot of rigmarole.
Fortunately, most drivers are responsible and conscientious, and therefore would never dream of getting behind the wheel of an uninsured car. But even these people could find themselves driving without insurance, as the report from the AA has highlighted the rising problem of ‘ghost brokers’.
Ghost brokers are fraudulent companies set up by criminals. They pretend to be selling cheap car insurance, but are instead selling absolutely nothing, leaving their victims with useless policies and putting them at risk of criminal charges or even having their cars confiscated and crushed by the police.
AXA estimates that as many as 20,000 people in the UK could be driving on fraudulent insurance policies. Not all of these people will be outright ‘victims’ – some could have had a hunch that the policy they bought was fraudulent, but may be willing to put up with it anyway so they can benefit from cheaper car insurance rates. Clearly, this is a false economy, and the cost to the driver should they be involved in a motor vehicle accident could be astronomical.
Who do ghost brokers target?
The AA warns that ghost brokers target the most hard-up drivers and vulnerable communities, such as students, drivers from overseas, people who speak English as a second language and people with driving convictions. They tend to have a good understanding of the car insurance industry and are very IT-literate – some of the most well-organised criminals have their own websites.
It is hard to tell how many people have been the victim of ghost-brokers, as the scam only comes to light when people want to make a road traffic accident claim on their insurance. One scam identified – which saw perpetrators Giovanni Recchia and Danyal Buckharee jailed for 12 months and three years respectively in a hearing on October 28th – involved over 600 victims and saw people duped out of at least £680,000.
Avoiding ghost brokers
To avoid ghost brokers, people should adhere to the following guidelines:
– Only buy car insurance policies from legitimate companies. If buyers are unsure about a company’s credentials, they could check the Motor Insurers’ Bureau or the British Insurance Brokers’ Association
– If something sounds too good to be true – for instance, if an advert is promising that a company offers significantly lower car insurance premiums than its competitors – it probably is
– Treat marketing materials with just email and mobile phone numbers with additional suspicioun
– Visit www.askMID.com to find out whether or not a car is insured if they think they have been the victim of a fraud
Victims of ghost brokers can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and report the crime. Keep all relevant documentation as evidence.
If you’ve been in a car accident involving an uninsured driver, Clearwater Solicitors can give you the expert representation you need! Get in touch today through our online enquiry form or by dialling 08000 430 430.