Brokers Ireland has called on Minister for State at the Department of Finance with special responsibility for insurance, Michael D’Arcy TD, to speed up plans to set up a new Garda motor insurance unit.
Despite Gardaí having found that 9,000 invalid insurance policies have been initiated by fraudsters or so-called ‘ghost brokers’ in the last fourteen months, the reality is that the situation may be much worse, since the investigation is ongoing, Brokers Ireland said.
The organisation, which represents 1,250 Brokers registered with and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, also called on consumers to be alert and 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 first step would be to check the Brokers Ireland website, brokersireland.ie, because all our brokers are listed there. Second, consumers can also check with the Central Bank, the website of which provides a search facility to enable consumers to check whether the person or company purporting to sell insurance or administer policies is a regulated entity.
“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.
“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,” Ms. Shannon commented.