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Ghost Brokering Don’t Get Scammed Looking for Cut Rate Auto Insurance

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Updated November 15th, 2020

Everybody loves a deal; we all want to save a little money especially on things we are already paying for. Insurance is no different.

ghost brokeringWhen it comes to auto insurance, some people want service. They want a real Insurance Agent who is on call to answer their questions and attend to their needs.

For other consumers, personal service and availability are a premium they are not willing to afford. Thanks to the dozens of television commercials touting low cost auto insurance, many people are more than willing to purchase their auto insurance online or over a telephone without ever seeing a real agent.

It is this mentality that provides ample opportunity for scammers to take advantage of consumers who are willing to buy auto insurance without knowing if the person taking their important personal information is a real insurance agent or a legitimate insurance company.

This begs the question, what if these people not who they say they are? What if the person answering the phone or the person running the website is a scammer looking for the next victim? This is exactly what happened recently to potentially thousands of people.

In the UK, it’s a serious criminal offence to drive without auto insurance. Recent increases in auto insurance premiums, specifically for younger drivers, have driven many people there to search for a better deal on their auto insurance rates.

This demand, along with the relatively young age of those being affected, provided the perfect opportunity for scammers to take advantage of these unsuspecting shoppers. Unfortunately, many consumers seeking lower auto insurance rates have found the reduced premiums they thought they were getting actually bought them no auto insurance coverage at all. These people had been victims of ghost broking.

don't be a victim of ghost brokering

Don’t be a victim of ghost brokering – Image Credit: Brian

Ghost brokers are scammers who set up fake websites, use social media or post classified advertisements, offering cheap auto insurance policies. These scammers are known to target young drivers as well as those with little understanding of how car insurance works. Some of these scammers have also been found operating on university campuses across the UK. Because this scam is relatively new and can only be discovered when an actual claim is submitted, the numbers of people that have been affected is not fully known but it is estimated the number could top tens of thousands of people according the the BBC.

To date there has been no indication of similar fraud within the US. Even so, consumers definitely need to beinsurance agent aware of such tactics when shopping online for a better auto insurance rate.

A quick search for “Auto Insurance Quotes” in any search engine will return a search result with dozens of listings. Some of these are companies we are all familiar with but some are advertisements for other companies that can only be found online. This does not mean these companies are scammers. They are most likely affiliates of known insurance companies. However, this is not always apparent upon first visit.

Utilizing the Internet or a toll free number to acquire something as important as insurance may be commonplace but the example from the UK shows there is always a chance for the unexpected to happen. This danger can be avoided by doing business with a real agent that can not only be found online or through a phone call but also within a real office quite possibly right down the road from where you live.

There will always be cut rate insurance available wherever there is a consumer demanding the lowest price. However, the lowest price may not provide the best possible coverage when it’s time to use that cut rate policy.

Auto insurance or any insurance is a very personal product and the best possible assessment of that product is through a face to face discussion with a real agent. Not that the discussion can’t be done on the phone. Having a real person to help you with those important questions guarantees you the best possible experience in the transaction.

So, if you are considering your auto insurance on price alone, you might want to get your quotes from real insurance agents. Chances are informing the agent you are shopping around locally for the best possible auto insurance rate will get you a very competitive price without the risk of being scammed.

Image Credits: Tommaso Galli & itsdstuart

Greg Fowler

Greg Fowler

Managing Member of AutoInsureSavings LLC, Greg has been in the insurance industry for 12 years and enjoys rebuilding vehicles. His goal is to help drivers save on anything related to automobiles. Travel and enjoying the outdoors are some of his hobbies. The best way to reach him is at his Twitter or Facebook Profile.

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