Some motorists, searching for ways to save money on their car insurance are turning to criminals
(PRWEB UK) 26 February 2013
Some motorists, searching for ways to save money on their car insurance at any cost, are turning to criminals to find them cheap insurance. As a result, thousands of motorists are on the road driving with insurance obtained fraudulently and in some cases, unknown to them, no valid insurance policy at all. As featured on the BBC's One Show last night, 1st Central warns of the consequences for the public of using these Ghost Brokers.
The criminals are Ghost Brokers - individuals operating illegally as unauthorised insurance intermediaries - who offer to arrange cheap motor insurance policies for the general public for their own financial gain. Ghost Brokers are flourishing in the current economic climate and 1st Central Insurance is warning the public about the risks they face by using them to arrange their car insurance.
A Ghost Broker will sell motorists worthless, forged motor insurance certificates and false proof of no claims bonus. Alternatively, they will take out car insurance policies on-line on the motorist’s behalf and use false details to secure cheaper premiums. The Ghost Brokers often insist that the motorist pays them directly, rather than the insurance company; then they pocket the money or pay the insurance company with a stolen credit card.
Motorists using Ghost Brokers to get cheap car insurance risk the following severe personal consequences:
- Criminal prosecution; when an insurer has evidence that the policy was taken out fraudulently. This brings the ultimate risk of a prison sentence.
- Legal action to recover the cost of a claim; when an insurer discovers after a claim is made that a policy has been taken out fraudulently, they will recover the cost of the claim from the motorist.
- No insurance cover in the event of an accident; with no valid insurance policy in place, the motorist is responsible for all costs associated with an accident.
- Seizure of car by the Police; Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems make it easy for the Police to identify if a vehicle is insured. Motorists face prosecution for driving without insurance which could mean a fine, penalty points and possibly a driving ban.
- Difficulty getting insurance & finance cover in future; because the insurance and banking industries share information on fraudulent activity.
- Their personal details being used by the Ghost Broker for other fraudulent activity.
To protect genuine customers from the impact of insurance fraud, which adds an average £50 to everyone’s annual insurance premiums; 1st Central has invested in sophisticated fraud detection tools and can very quickly identify and target Ghost Brokers and those who chose to use their illegal services.
Glen Marr, Director of Fraud at 1st Central says, “Motorists by law must insure their cars and some are choosing high-risk, naive and foolhardy measures to save money on their premiums; putting themselves and others at risk. The message to motorists searching for cheap deals on their car insurance is simple – if an offer seems just too good to be true, then it probably is. Just don’t risk it - accurately enter the information yourself on price comparison websites or insurer sites, or only use professional authorised insurance intermediaries. Do not use the services of Ghost Brokers – you have too much to lose. If you think you have unwittingly used a Ghost Broker, contact your insurer in the first instance.”
If you think you have information on a Ghost Broker, report it via the Insurance Fraud Bureau’s free and confidential Cheatline on: 0800 422 0421
Background: What Constitutes a Ghost Broker:
Unlike legitimate, professional FSA regulated Brokers who can be found at (http://www.fsa.gov.uk/register/home.do), a Ghost Broker is an illegal insurance intermediary who offers services to obtain cut price motor cover through an insurer directly or via a price comparison site. Typically these criminals will falsify or manipulate information on the insurance application to materially reduce the insurance premium. Ghost Brokers appear in a variety of guises, ranging from a local contact within a community who operates as a Ghost Broker as a side line, those operating under poorly presented on-line advertisements, through to some operating an outwardly professional, and legitimate looking business.
About 1st Central:
The First Central Group was founded by Ken Acott, Pat Tilley and Peter Creed (formerly Chief Executive, Finance Director and Head of Underwriting at Zenith Insurance). As a provider of online motor insurance, 1st Central has enjoyed exponential growth since its launch in 2008.
For further information please contact:
1st Central Press Office
Hayley Tea/Anne Staunton
020 8661 2444
Hayley(dot)tea(at)peak-marketing(dot)co(dot)uk / Anne(dot)staunton(at)peak-marketing(dot)co(dot)uk