‘Ghost’ Brokers Are Fraudsters Not Brokers and Consumers Need To Be More Alert To Dangers
Fri Nov 22 2019
Brokers Ireland has today called on consumers to be more alert to the dangers of fraudsters pretending to be insurance brokers and to remember if an insurance quote seems too good to be true it almost certainly is.
The organisation, which represents 1,250 Brokers registered with and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, also called on consumers always to check the authenticity of any person or company selling or administering insurance policies.
Cathie Shannon, Director of General Insurance at Brokers Ireland, said that this can be done with relative ease.
“The easiest and cost-free first step would be to check the Brokers Ireland website: brokersireland.ie because all our insurance Brokers are listed there. Our website has a handy search facility, which will also enable a consumer to find an insurance Broker in their local area.
Second, consumers can also check with the Central Bank, the website of which provides a search facility to enable consumers check whether the person or company purporting to sell insurance or administer policies is a regulated entity.”
Ms Shannon said that if you purchase insurance from a fraudster, you have not actually purchased a valid insurance policy. In the event you need to make a claim, the consequences of being left without insurance cover can be catastrophic. Furthermore, if you purchase car insurance from a fraudster you will be driving without insurance, which is a criminal offence”. What makes matters worse is that they are often targeting young or vulnerable consumers, often foreign nationals who are not clear on how the insurance market works in Ireland.”
“While conducting business over the web is now the norm, the web is also a great marketplace for fraudsters. Consumers need to be alert at all times. Think twice before purchasing insurance from sources such as social media sites and carefully check any insurance documentation for accuracy,” she said.
She said the term ‘ghost broker’ is “very unfortunate”. “These people simply are not brokers. A more correct term would be “fraudsters”.
See media coverage of Cathie Shannon’s comments on Ghost Brokers:
Newstalk Radio – November 21st: Interview with Cathie Shannon of Brokers Ireland on the Pat Kenny Show (To access interview, hit the arrow on Pat Kenny’s image. Then go to the bottom right inverted ‘v’ at the end of ‘The Pat Kenny Show – November 21st, 2019 – 09:00am – 12:00pm’ That brings you to the beginning of the programme. If you move the dial along to 122:50 you come to the interview. )
BreakingNews.ie – November 21st: The government will work with gardaí and the insurance industry to crack down on ghost brokers who have duped thousands of motorists and left up to 10,000 people uninsured on the roads.
TheJournal.ie – November 21st: ‘Ghost brokers’ under investigation after scam leaves hundreds of drivers with no insurance
RTE – November 21st: ‘Ghost brokers’ leave thousands of motorists uninsured