Car insurance has become quite costly nowadays and the existence of fake insurance companies and brokers cannot be ruled out, who thrive by luring motorists for cheap car insurance. Commonly known as ghost broking, the insurance arena is threatened by the fast growing population of conmen who want to make a killing by duping people of their money. Not being careful enough in dealing with insurance companies could land you in trouble as the car insurance that you purchase might turn out to be nonexistent. Brushing aside the lure of cheap insurance policies, take time to investigate into the legitimacy of the insurance companies with whom you are likely to deal. There are some definite steps that can help you to ascertain whether an insurance company is legal or not.
Review their website
The world has truly become “virtual” and it is difficult to make out the legal status of an insurance company by merely looking at the website. Despite the fact that websites should not be relied upon unless the authenticity of the company is established by other means, try to judge the quality of the website and use your gut feeling to determine its ingenuity. Some testimonials and the registered address of business that is displayed on the website can provide important leads about the genuineness of the company.
Check the FCA register
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is a regulatory body that controls the functioning of companies offering financial services. Companies that are regulated and registered by the FCA are listed in the Financial Services Register which is considered to be a public record and contains all information about the company. That the name is listed in this register is a sign that the company is a legal entity. Another way is to check the Companies House website of the UK government that has a list of more than 2 million registered trading companies.
Confirm their real existence
Once you get the names and addresses, the next thing is to verify that the company actually exists on that date. You can visit their office or make a telephone call to verify their true existence. If the call is diverted to a call centre then it needs double checking because fake companies often take recourse to anonymous call centres.
Cross check on the internet
Make good use of the power of search engines to gather more information about the company especially to know the experience of others in working with the company. The feedback that you gather will help you to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the company that will be useful in taking a decision during selection.
Any insurance company dealing in motor insurance has to be registered with the MIB or Motor Insurers, Bureau. Checking and verifying this detail confirms the legitimacy of the company.
Going through the exercise can be time consuming but it is more than worth doing as you will have the satisfaction of putting in your money in the right place.