‘Ghost’ Brokers Are Fraudsters Not Brokers and Consumers Need To Be More Alert To Dangers

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”.