Watch Out For Insurance Agent Scammers!
When you think of insurance fraud, you typically think of the consumer who submits false or inflated insurance claims. But there is another type of insurance fraud that the consumer needs to watch out for, and that is insurance agent scammers or ghost brokers. If this is the first time you’ve heard the term ghost broker, they are either fake insurance agents or they sell fake insurance policies.
They often target either the elderly or the very young, who are trying to save money on car insurance, and because there are so many places to get insurance, and so many products to choose from, choosing the right policy can be confusing. So most people have to have faith in and depend on their insurance agent to guide them through making the right choices.
This is how ghost brokers can scam you:
First they earn your trust and then offer you cheap insurance, then they will work one of these schemes:
- They will sell you a totally fake policy, with fake documents that look genuine.
- They will sell you a real insurance policy from a real insurance company. But soon thereafter, they cancel your policy, but keep your premiums….and you are driving around uninsured.
- Again, they will sell you a real policy from a real insurance company, collect and keep your premiums, but they will supply the insurance company with false information about you such as the wrong address or age inorder to make the premium lower. So, this is in fact legitimate insurance, but because of the false information, the policy is actually not valid.
Getting caught up in any of these fraudulent schemes could affect you for a long time, so protect yourself by…
Being aware of these warning signs:
- A good rule of thumb is: “If the offer looks too good to be true, it probably is!”
- Ghost brokers often advertise cheap insurance on social media sites, but don’t give their phone number. They may also approach you personally on social media or on your cell phone.
- If the premiums they are offering are extremely lower than the competition…over 15-20% less.
- If they ask for cash only and in-person payments.
- If the agent is extremely aggressive and pressures you to sign up now, because premiums will be going up.
- If it is difficult or impossible to call to talk to the insurer.
- Trust your gut…if something or someone doesn’t feel, act, or look right…walk away.
If you think you might be a victim of an insurance agent scammer, you can:
- Contact your state insurance department to register a complaint against the insurance company.
- File a report with the Online Fraud Reporting System.
At Whitcomb Insurance we love to sit down with our clients, and we would love to sit down with you, answer any questions you might have, whether it’s about auto, homeowners, small business or life insurance. You can count on us to be totally honest and upfront with you!
Contact us or give us a call at 425-391-8731.