Brokers Ireland has called on consumers to be alert to the dangers of fraudsters masquerading as insurance brokers as reports emerge that Gardai have found yet more fraudsters selling forged or invalid insurance to unsuspecting motorists.
Brokers Ireland said it is great to see progress being made by Gardai towards targeting and catching those carrying out fraud and said they must be given whatever resources they need to continue their efforts.
Cathie Shannon, Director of General Insurance at Brokers Ireland, said consumers should be able to establish the authenticity of those presenting themselves as ‘brokers’.
“If you buy insurance from a fraudster, you have not actually purchased a valid insurance policy and the consequences can be severe in the event of needing to make a claim.
“If you purchase car insurance from a fraudster you will be driving without insurance, which is a criminal offence. Fraudsters often target young or what might be considered more vulnerable consumers, often foreign nationals who are not clear on how the insurance market works in Ireland,”
Ms Shannon said one of the most obvious signals can be an insurance quote that seems too good to be true.
“Invariably if it seems too good to be true it transpires that it actually is.”
She then advised consumers to always check the authenticity of any person or company selling or administering insurance policies.
“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.”
She said while conducting business over the web is now the norm, the web is also a easy marketplace for fraudsters.
“Think twice before purchasing insurance from sources such as social media sites and carefully check any insurance documentation for accuracy.”