AN Garda Síochána has today (Tuesday) issued a warning about motor insurance scams and outlined measures that can be taken to avoid becoming a victim.
“Ghost Broking is a term given to two possible types of fraud relating to false Insurance documents. Policies are bought from legitimate insurance companies using false information and then changed before being sold on to customers. Fake policy documents designed to look like they have been issued by legitimate insurance companies are created and sold on to customers, or supplied at the inception process. Proposal forms are being put through a third party before submission to a legitimate insurance company,” a garda spokesman explained.
“The net effect of this is that the purchaser has not purchased a valid certificate of Insurance and has no motor insurance whatsoever and is liable for any damage caused or offence committed as a result of having no motor insurance,” the spokesman added.
There are two ways to obtain a valid certificate of motor insurance.
1. By purchasing one directly from a reputable insurance company that is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
2. By purchasing one from an insurance broker otherwise known as an insurance intermediary that is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.
• If in doubt contact the Central Bank of Ireland before purchasing a policy of insurance from any person or firm purporting to be selling motor insurance.
• Reputable insurance companies keep a record of insurance intermediaries selling their policies of insurance so check with the parent company if in doubt before purchasing a policy of insurance, once you have clarified from the seller what insurance company will issue the certificate of insurance.
• Motor insurance can be expensive and if a quote appears to be much less expensive than other quotes of insurance the customer should ensure that the recommended checks are conducted before agreeing to purchase the policy.
• Beware of buying insurance policies from unusual sources such as social networks, or in bars or restaurants or public places etc.
The garda spokesman also reminded people that it is a criminal offence to provide false or misleading information for the purpose of obtaining motor insurance cover.