Why young drivers see more ghosts…
Personal injury specialist John Kilmister – from our Bristol office – has seen a few in his time… but not the white-sheet variety. These are dodgy motor insurance brokers. And they prey on naive motorists looking to be legal, but trying to avoid the spectre of premiums that make your hair stand on end…
With car insurance being compulsory – and premiums ever increasing – there’s now a new threat facing motorists. From so- called ‘ghost brokers’. Pretending to be insurance brokers, these people often advertise in shops, local newspapers and online, trying to trick unsuspecting motorists with offers of discount or cheap motor insurance.
How do they do it? It’s simple. ‘Ghost brokers’ will contact an insurance company – usually through a comparison website – and obtain a quote for a client by entering false details. They might put in the wrong date of birth. They may say the car’s being stored in a garage (when it’s actually parked on the road), or they may change the occupation of the applicant.
And whilst this might result in a much lower quote, the insurance policy itself will be invalid.
All insurance brokers must be authorised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), and it’s illegal to offer insurance without being authorised by them.
The FSA warns that one of the main target groups for ‘ghost brokers’ is younger drivers. Because of the high quotes they receive from motor insurers, and because they’re easy to target through social networking media.
So be wary of anyone offering cheap insurance. And never hand over money to someone saying that they’re a broker without first checking that they’re authorised with the FSA!
You’ll find a list of authorised brokers at www.fsa.gov.uk/Pages/register