Insurance brokers are a dime a dozen. In fact, there are plenty of websites dealing with all kinds of insurance but how do you know which of them are trustworthy? Easy, spend more than 25 seconds investigating their website!
Do Not Entertain Unsolicited Calls And Offers
Imagine browsing Facebook, and you get a message from Mark offering you a special interest-free overdraft for £1,000 but only if you make a deposit of £500 today to open an account with the Bank of Buck. Would you fall for this trick?
Such an offer does not sound reasonable, to begin with, and even if it did, you should never open an account with a bank that you are not aware of. In the event you feel the offer is legitimate, should you not at least investigate further? Ideally, you would visit the Bank website, check for credentials, call up friends and family members in the banking circle.
What if the offer from Mark was for Barclays? Would you be just as exhaustive in your research before committing?
Never trust unsolicited calls and offers no matter how legitimate they may sound. Always follow-up and do your research. If an insurance broker offers you something that you never asked for, remember that they approach thousands of individuals on a daily basis, you are not special. Ask questions, find out who they are, the name of their brokerage firm, the underwriters they deal with, and what are their terms.
The first step to weed out the bad insurance broker is to check how much attention they give you once they realize you aren’t an easy mark.
It isn’t as much as what you see or hear but what you read that matters. Remember until you have parted ways with your money, you are in control. Use this time to establish the credentials of the broker. First check if the company is registered with Companies House, has a full address and is recognized by the Financial Conduct Authority or FCA.
To check with FCA, you simply need the name of the company or its FCA number (ours is 447730, and we are registered as a trading name of One Sure Insurance Limited). If you cannot find the full address of a company or the FCA number anywhere on the website or brochure, that’s your first indicator of a fraud. If you find the FCA number, but it does not belong to the company you are dealing with or any of the registered trading names on the FCA number, you should immediately stop all communications with them and report to the Insurance Fraud Bureau or IFB.
If you receive a call or mail from an individual claiming to work with a particular FCA registered company, ask him or her for the employee identification number. Every insurance company has to keep track of all its advisors and brokers. Verify with the company that the individual is indeed who he claims to be and inform them that one of their employees has contacted you. State the offer on the table and ensure it is recognized by the company before you proceed any further.
Fraudulent Brokers Online
Shopping online for an insurance policy is just as perilous as answering unsolicited calls and offers. Today, it is mighty easy to build a beautiful website that immediately draws your attention and compels you to sign a contract. Unfortunately, finding the fraudsters in a sea of online brokers is tedious but entirely possible.
The same rules apply as before. Search for the FCA number and full address. Check the FCA website and verify that the name of the company is registered to the FCA number. Some sites will advertise big names in the insurance industry such as Zurich and Aviva to lure you in. Do not get swayed. Follow all the steps meticulously and research the contract before finalizing it with a payment.
Remember, members of the police force, bureaucrats and other reputable professions all have been victims of online fraud. The only way to be safe is to exercise due diligence.