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Sunday 19 November 2017

Gardai warn drivers to be wary of 'ghost brokers' selling invalid insurance policies

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Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

Gardai have warned drivers to be wary about fake motor insurance brokers selling invalid insurance cover.

It comes days after the scam was highlighted by Independent.ie, and in the Irish Independent.

The Garda press office said what are known as ghost brokers are engaged in a fraud where they use false information to sell insurance policies that are not valid.

Policies are bought from legitimate insurance companies using false information and then changed before being sold on to customers.

The broker bandits also create fake policy documents designed to look like they have been issued by legitimate insurance companies.

Proposal forms are being put through a third party before submission to a legitimate insurance company, the gardaí said.

Read more: Fake insurance brokers going door to door to rip off motorists

"The net effect of this is that the purchaser has not purchased a valid certificate of insurance and has no motor insurance whatsoever and is liable for any damage caused or offence committed as a result of having no motor insurance."

Drivers were told there are only two ways to obtain a valid certificate of motor insurance.

This can be done by purchasing one directly from a reputable insurance company that is authorised and regulated by the Central Bank.

The other way is by purchasing one from an insurance broker, authorised by the Central Bank.

Drivers who have any doubts were advised to contact the Central Bank before purchasing a policy of insurance from any person or firm purporting to be selling motor insurance.

Reputable insurance companies keep a record of insurance intermediaries selling their policies of insurance so check with the parent company if in doubt before purchasing a policy of insurance, the gardaí said.

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