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Transport

Ghost brokers campaign

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) Operation Drive Insured is a national campaign this month to catch uninsured drivers. Police are warning drivers to be wary of fraudsters who may have sold them fake car insurance, commonly known in the insurance industry as ghost brokers. They’re fraudsters who sell drivers apparently cheap motor insurance deals but issue policies that aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

Typically policies are bought from legitimate insurance companies using false information and then doctored 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.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Fyfe, Head of the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department, said: “We fully support Operation Drive Insured, which helps to take uninsured drivers off the roads and protect sensible motorists from the dangers they pose.

“However, while there are some senseless people who choose to drive without insurance, we’re aware that there may be thousands of well-intentioned motorists on the road right now who think they’ve got legitimate cover but have in fact been sold fake insurance by a fraudster. These are commonly known in the insurance industry as ghost brokers.

“We’d encourage drivers to be wary of heavily discounted prices they see online, such as social media, or are offered directly in person or via messaging apps. While cheap offers may be tempting, purchasing car insurance through a ghost broker will end up costing you far more in the long run – both in terms of money and your licence.”

If you’re unsure if your vehicle cover is real, you can check, say the authorities. If you are not sure about the broker, check on the UK regulator the Financial Conduct Authority or the British Insurance Brokers’ Association website for a full list of all authorised insurance brokers: register.fca.org.uk and biba.org.uk. You can also contact the insurance company to verify the broker’s details. You can check to see if your car is legitimately insured on the Motor Insurance Database website: ownvehicle.askmid.com.

If you know or suspect someone of insurance fraud, you can report this via Insurance Fraud Bureau’s cheatline (run by Crimestoppers) on 0800 422 0421 or a secure online form.


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