Friday, 27 January 2012 3:53 PM
Frivolous personal injury claims have plagued the car insurance industry for years and are often blamed for rising quote prices. Fraud is rife within this sector as criminals look to exploit loopholes in policies. Even more harrowingly, the fraudsters are now launching attacks from a very different angle and it is the innocent roadsters, once again, who will be caught up in the crossfire.
Written off as collateral damage in the war between insurers and deceitful claimants, inflating quotes have driven people to seek the cheapest price available, with little regard for the extent of the policy’s protection. Some people are even handing their details over to so called ‘ghost brokers’ who do not legitimately exist.
Promoting a brokering service via the internet and windscreen flyers, ghost brokers are exploiting those who cannot afford quotes supplied by conventional insurers. The problem is – the service is entirely fictitious. It is a multi-million pound scam encouraging drivers to hand over personal information and cash, only to receive absolutely no legal protection.
Some ‘ghosts’ will take the cash, then use a stolen credit card to pay the insurer – adding even more deceit to the operation. Victims then take to the roads, obliviously driving around in what is basically a financial time bomb.
The particularly elaborate fraudsters are in for a longer con. Initially taking a cash payment from a customer for a set quote, the crooks then apply for the insurance from a legitimate provider using altered personal details (age, postcode etc), which lowers the cost – then they pocket the difference.
A special fraud protection unit has been established by London Police to combat the problem. This is a multi-billion pound operation in itself and is funded largely by the insurance industry – which could also be having a direct effect on quote prices. The best way to stay safe is to protect ourselves. You should always receive an official certificate of motor insurance.
The situation almost looks like a vicious circle of inevitable quote inflations but it is the genuine motor insurance brokers who can put an end to this conflict. These legitimate brokers specialise in acquiring affordable and adequate insurance deals on behalf of the customer – no fiction.
If you suspect your quote to be insufficient, too expensive or even completely false, get in touch with a registered broker who will go through your concerns and help you find the best quote to match your circumstances and your budget.