Aviva Insurance has claimed that thousands of Irish motorists are uninsured. This arrises from findings that more than 10,000 motor insurance policies have been taken out by so-called ‘ghost-brokers’, RTE.ie reports.
Ghost-brokers are scammers that pose as legitimate providers that sell insurance, offering prices at significant discounts to the market rates, offered by registered providers.
The scam occurs when the ghost-broker buys an insurance policy from a registered insurance company using the customer’s information, but forging a false no claims bonus, and paying for the policy using a stolen credit card.
The ghost-broker will then charge the customer around half the price of the policy, which will not be valid. Once the insurance company identifies the fraud, it will cancel the policy, meaning the motorist had been unknowingly driving without cover.
RTE.ie also reports that Aviva is dealing with up to 1,500 policies that have been taken out fraudulently.
Aviva set up a fraud detection team in 2016, which has identified 10 illegal ghost-broker operators linked to 1,000 – 1,500 policies.
An Garda Síochána are carrying out comprehensive investigations and are liaising with the Insurance Federation of Ireland and numerous insurance companies in relation to this matter.
The Gardai has also warned motorists with any concerns about their insurance, to not use their vehicle on a public road and to contact their insurance company directly to verify if their insurance is valid.
Gardai says that one man has been arrested and charged with a number of offences under Section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001.