Options for car insurance are endless. You can type ‘car insurance UAE’ in your search bar and get page upon page of links to someone trying to sell you something. So how do you weed out the best from rest?
The UAE, like many responsible countries in the world, has strict car insurance laws. You can’t drive your car without valid insurance cover as it puts both you and others at risk. So the market for car insurance is constantly thriving. There is an endless stream of buyers, and there are many out there who are looking to manipulate that situation.
Online car insurance comparison websites have made it easier to buy from authenticated car insurance providers. They do all the grunt work of vetting insurance companies and putting their best policies forward for customers to compare and buy. However, there is a lot you can do to avoid car insurance scams on your own.
Haunted by Ghost Broking
This is one of the most frequent, yet intricate ways a scammer can get on your radar. Ghost broking is essentially selling the idea that they are a genuine agent or middle man that represents the insurance company. They will insist that they can get you cheaper deals, massive discounts, but only if you buy the insurance through them.
This level of trust-building takes time but they will be insistent on it. They will use all the charm in their bags to convince you they are your friend and have your best interest at heart. Once you agree, sign some papers, and hand over the cash they are gone, never to be seen again, but the encounter will haunt you.
The best way to catch a ghost broker is not by calling Ghost Busters. You can just call the insurance company they claim to be agents of and check if anyone by their name works there. You can ask for their employee ID number or any other identification that the company issues. Ask to speak to a manager or a supervisor. The more you dig for their credentials the more they will get nervous and leave you alone.
Social media algorithms are scary. Our phones seem to hear our conversations and thoughts and display ads on our timelines accordingly. So, you’ve been thinking about getting a new car insurance policy after your current one expires. You’re scrolling through Facebook before going to bed when you see an ad for car insurance. You’re interested; you want to know more. So you comment the make and model of your car with your phone number in the comment section and hope the company will get back to you.
Strike one! Now the scammer, who is perusing the comments section like everyone else, has the basic information about your car and a number he can get in touch with you. You get a call, the scammer pretends to be a sales agent from the insurance company and quotes your cars make and model. Strike two! You think, ‘Oh, he knows my car details, he must be from the company,’ and the ghost broking has started. You continue talking to him and give him more sensitive information which he can use to rope you in. Strike three! You’re out!
Now, we’re not suggesting you don’t take up the insurance companies on their offers. You definitely should. But be conscientious about how you share your personal information. Ask for the company’s number, visit their website, or inbox them your contact details and car information. This way you can take advantage of whatever deals are being offered but still keep yourself safe from car insurance scams.
Another ploy that car insurance scammers use that should ding alarm bells is that they ask for cash when buying an insurance policy. They will insist on cash payments, even suggesting that the discount is only valid for cash payments. The reason they want a cash transaction is that it’s very hard to catch the scam if it’s done through cash. When cash exchanges hands you only have a paper receipt of payment and a bogus policy in your hand. With online transactions, and bank transfers you can catch a scam easily. Bank transfers to personal accounts are a red flag and will out the scammer. Similarly, online payments through credit or debit cards are tricked and you can trace their account details back to them. Cash payments are virtually traceless.
So go cashless. Insist on online payments. Ask for bank details you can verify with the insurance company and your bank. It’s always best to have an electronic trail.
Whenever You’re Unaware – Online Compare
To avoid scammers impersonating company sales agents refer to online insurance comparison sites, such as BuyAnyInsurance.com. They have independent reviews of insurance companies, they vet company authenticity, and they are more than happy to provide you information without forcing a sale on you. Their motivations are different from sales agents. They don’t work on commission, they have no personal interest in selling you an insurance policy you don’t want.
Their primary focus is to provide a smooth sailing platform where both buyers and sellers can meet, observe the policies available, play around with preferences until they find the perfect match. That’s it. Plus they have secure and safe online payment methods that you can track. Your policy is sent to you via email within 60 minutes of purchase. Insurance comparison websites are also registered with the UAE government. They can’t operate without permission. So you can be sure they will have very tight security to keep scammers at bay.
The idea is to stay safe out there. Insurance is about protection and security. So it’s ironic that car insurance scammers use that to hurt people’s trust in something that’s supposed to make them feel safer. With the above tips and tricks hopefully, you’ll feel much safer when buying car insurance in the future.