The Gardaí have issued a warning to Irish drivers about the emerging fraudulent practice known as “Ghost Broking”. Ghost Brokers pose as legitimate insurance intermediaries selling cheap insurance policies. In reality, their policies are fake and not worth the paper they are written on. Insurance is important to protect the things we love and when it comes to car insurance, it is essential that you have the correct cover. Car insurance is a compulsory requirement for motorists in Ireland and it is crucial to have sufficient cover in the event that you cause an accident.
A Ghost Broker is not authorised to sell insurance to the public and is not supervised by the Central Bank of Ireland. A Ghost Broker is acting illegally by pretending to be an insurance broker. In many cases, the Ghost Broker buys genuine car insurance policies from an insurance company on the basis of false or inaccurate customer information. Ghost brokers also operate by selling fake or forged car insurance certificates and discs.
Those most in danger of falling prey to Ghost brokers are:
- Inexperienced drivers – who may be attracted by the promise of cheaper cover without realising the entire transaction is fraudulent leaving them with no cover.
- Foreign nationals – who are unfamiliar with how motor insurance works in Ireland and who may resort to online forums for advice only to come in contact with a fraudster claiming to be a broker and offering cheap car insurance.
Aviva Ireland has issued the following advice for car owners buying insurance:
- Research your provider.
- Check the Broker Ireland’s web site at iba.ie; The Insurance Ireland’s web site at www.insuranceireland.eu; or the Central Bank’s register of providers at www.registers.centralbank.ie/FirmSearch
- Check all insurance documents you receive for accuracy. If any detail is incorrect, contact the insurance provider.
- Beware of buying insurance from unusual sources such as social media sites like Facebook, or newspapers.
Motor insurance fraud is paid for by the vast majority of drivers who abide by the law; it adds to the cost of a person’s car policy and reducing fraud will be a major factor in containing increasing insurance costs.