Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has called for the establishment of a stand-alone insurance fraud unit within An Garda Síochana to investigate insurance fraud if and when it occurs, including a clamp-down on ‘ghost brokers’ that are taking out fraudulent policies on behalf of unsuspected customers.
Speaking today, the Donegal TD said:
“The activities of so-called ‘ghost brokers’, who take out policies with false information for unsuspected consumers, only for the cover to then be cancelled by insurance companies, must be tackled immediately.
“It is reported that these ghost brokers have taken out more than 10 thousand insurance policies, with hundreds of these policies being cancelled for consumers who are then left without cover when accidents occur.
“These criminals are offering unsuspecting consumers low premiums by providing false information to insurance companies, and taking commission from the sale.
“When companies then discover that these policies were bought on the basis of false information, sometimes using stolen credit cards, the policies are cancelled, leaving innocent consumers out of pocket and without any cover.
“These so-called ghost brokers engaged in organised crime must be stopped, and I commend the unit heading up this investigation.
“However, it is clear that criminal activities in the insurance market are becoming more sophisticated. As a result, Garda operations must become more sophisticated and better resourced.
“That is why Sinn Féin want to set up a stand-alone and specialist Garda Insurance Fraud Unit made of detectives, Garda staff and financial investigators. This unit would be initially funded with reserves built up by the Personal Injury Assessment Board and supplemented with additional public resources as required.
“It would create a hostile environment for organised criminality engaged in fraud, including ghost brokers, and ensure that insurance companies comply with Section 19 of the Criminal Justice Act by reporting all suspected fraud.
“Only Sinn Féin have the policies and political will to take on the industry, stamp out fraud, reduce insurance costs and end the rip-off.”