Insurance Fraud Bureau

Ready for the road? Essential tips on finding cheap car insurance deals and avoiding Ghost Brokers

14 July 2020

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As a national Ready for the Road campaign gets underway to help motorists get back to the road after lockdown, the IFB is also helping drivers get ready with some tips on finding legitimate car insurance deals and avoiding the twisted web of ‘Ghost Broker’ insurance scams.

With restrictions easing and big numbers of the public now heading out to food and entertainment venues, millions more cars will be heading out on the roads.

For many, it will mean they are driving for the first time in a while and their car may even have been declared off the road via a Statutory-Off-Road Notification (SORN) to DVLA during lockdown. If their vehicle is then is used again, it means it needs to be taxed and insured again.

However, there are concerns that with many people facing financial difficulty the public might resort to desperate lengths to try and find more affordable car insurance deals. This could lead more people into the trap of an opportunistic ‘Ghost Broker’, selling fake car insurance on social media and online ads.

“With many furloughed or out of work, people will naturally be looking for the cheapest car insurance deals to keep their car on the road. It’s certainly possible to get a good deal, but unless checks are made to know cover is provided by a genuine insurer, drivers run the risk of falling victim to a Ghost Broker. If anyone thinks they have seen Ghost Broking activity, this can be reported confidentially to our Cheatline at www.insurancefraudbureau.org- Stephen Dalton, Head of Intelligence and Investigations at the IFB

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) there are several ways drivers can get more affordable car insurance deals. This includes:

  • Choosing a less powerful vehicle to keep premium costs down.
  • Driving more safely to avoid collisions and penalty points which protect a driver’s ‘No Claims Discount’ (NCD).
  • Getting a black box or ‘telematics’ to demonstrate how safe the driver is.
  • Using price comparison sites or a BIBA-registered Broker to find a good deal.
  • Taking measures to protect a car from theft such as an alarm or immobiliser.
  • Considering paying for a higher excess (the cost someone pays in excess of what an insurer pays if a claim is made).
  • Always being honest to an insurer about changes to the use and condition of a vehicle, otherwise this could be considered insurance fraud.

YouGov survey results (commissioned by IFB) reveal that one in five people have seen suspicious car insurance ads on social media, with one in three being in the 18-24 age group.

With indications of such a high prevalence of suspicious insurance ads online, the IFB recommends the public take extra efforts to check that insurance is genuine before purchasing.

If buying through an Insurance Broker consumers can check the seller is registered with the British Insurance brokers’ Association (BIBA). If buying directly through an insurer they should appear as a registered member of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB). Checks can also be made to see Insurance Advisors are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

It’s also recommended to check that the seller has a legitimate website, a UK phone number and address and to look out for any behaviour that may seem out of the ordinary.

Evidence of insurance fraud can be reported via IFB’s Cheatline service through a confidential phoneline that is powered by Crimestoppers on 0800 422 0421 or insurance fraud can be reported online on IFB’s website.

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About Ready for the Road

Ready for the Road is a national campaign created by the National Roads Policing Operations and Intelligence (NRPOI) committee, supported by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) alongside insurers, police, Government and road safety organisations. Launching in early June 2020, social media and press activity has been coordinated to help raise awareness of key road safety and legal responsibilities as more road traffic appears on the road after lockdown.