Large numbers of drivers say they have been approached by fraudulent ‘ghost brokers’, new research shows. This is despite many people saying they are not aware of ghost broking.
Ghost brokers are fraudsters offering cheap insurance policies, usually via social media or by word-of-mouth. They pose as middlemen for insurance companies, claiming they can offer legitimate car insurance at a much cheaper price.
But the insurance documents are forged, or details are falsified to bring the price down, or genuine policies are taken out but then cancelled soon afterwards.
Most victims do not realise that they do not have genuine cover until they are stopped by gardaí or try to make a claim.
Now a survey commissioned by Liberty Insurance shows that seven in ten motor insurance customers in Ireland are unaware of ghost broking.
A third have not taken steps to verify their insurance broker is regulated. But 43pc have Googled the broker, while one-third visited the Brokers Ireland website to verify that the broker was regulated.
Almost four in ten of those who are aware of the practice have been approached by fraudulent ghost brokers, the survey carried out by Core Research found.
Liberty called on all insurers to encourage consumers to avail of Brokers Ireland’s new insurancebroker.ie website, or the Central Bank of Ireland’s online register, if they need to search for an insurance broker.
Claims and operations leader for Liberty Insurance in Europe, María Eugenia Muguerza, said: “Ghost broking is a real issue that needs to be tackled for the sake of consumers... and for legitimate insurance providers and brokers.”