Thousands of motorists fall victim to ‘ghost brokers’ warns AXA

AXA, one of the UK’s largest car insurers, believes that up to twenty thousand motorists in the UK could be buying invalid car insurance through a rising number of bogus or "ghost" insurance brokers.

20 August 2011

Posted in Product

by Daniel O’Byrne (see media contact)

Over the last couple of years, AXA has monitored a sharp rise in customers who have been sold a policy by an alleged broker who has inputted false information in order to buy insurance. Had the correct details been inputted the premium would have been higher or the driver declined for cover.

Ghost brokers appear to target certain communities who they believe may find it hard to get insurance, for example students or migrant groups. They then contact insurance companies directly and input only selected details, leaving out or changing anything that might have a negative impact on the quote such as citizenship or claims history. This leaves the customer with an invalid policy and the potential for any claims to be declined.
Over the last year, AXA has had to deal with numerous claims where "ghost broking" has been evident. And the company has contacted 1000 customers with policies that appeared suspicious in order to correct any errors before the motorist finds themselves footing the bill for an invalid claim.

Steve Gaywood, Head of Counter Fraud at AXA says: "We all know that car insurance premiums have risen in the last couple of years and for some motorists insurance is difficult to afford or find. But it seems that some unscrupulous individuals are using this as a hook to con people into buying insurance that isn't valid.

"Motor claims can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds and with one in 10 of us claiming each year. Often the changes made by ghost brokers don't save much money and can leave motorists uninsured and liable for huge claim costs."

AXA is urging consumers to check out the validity of their broker. One suggested resource is the Broker search function located under the consumer section of the British Insurance Broker's Association (B.I.B.A) website or go directly to insurers themselves.

Steve Gaywood concludes "There are plenty of insurers and bona fide brokers out there who can obtain quotes for motorists who may find it harder than others to get insurance."