All owners of roadworthy vehicles are required to have in place a policy of insurance. The minimum legal requirement is to take out third party insurance, which covers you for damaging someone else’s vehicle or property, or injury to another person in an accident.
Vehicle insurance can be relatively expensive, especially to new drivers or those who have amassed a large number of penalty points. Sadly, a new trend is arising where fraudsters are seeking to take advantage of financially vulnerable individuals by offering fake insurance policies at reduced prices.
Termed ‘Ghost broking’, the scam involves fake brokers selling forged insurance paperwork as real policies.
Those who fall victim to the scam typically usually only become aware once they are stopped by police after their vehicle is identified as not having any insurance in place. It is only then when they realise that the policy which they paid for in good faith is in fact non-existent.
Driving without insurance is a strict liability offence, meaning that as the matter is one involving social concern, there is no need for the Prosecution to prove that you intended to commit an offence.
The penalty driving for driving without valid insurance
The penalty for driving without insurance is 6 – 8 points on your driving licence or a disqualification of up to 12 months. You would also be liable for an unlimited level of fine. These additional points would lead to the revocation of a driving licence for a new driver if the offence was committed in the first two years of driving, and could lead to a 6 month totting up ban if the additional points took you up to the 12 point threshold.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, those who fall victim to the ghost broking scam could argue that there are special reasons for not imposing the usual penalty. However, the case would have to go to Court and the driver would have to give evidence in front of the Magistrates or District Judge.
Going to Court can be a daunting and time-consuming process, so its always best to protect yourself from falling victim to the scam in the first place.
Protecting yourself from Ghost-Broking
If you receive an offer of insurance that is wildly lower than most companies, you should take time to look into the background of the company, and probe how they can provide the policy at such a low rate. Check the provenance of the company on the Government data base: Companies house. Check that the company is authorised by the financial conduct authority by searching the financial services register. Carefully inspect any documentation you receive and highlight any concerns immediately. If you suspect that you are dealing with a ghost-broker, protect yourself and others by reporting them to the financial conduct authority and to the police.
Have you already been caught out by the Ghost-Broking scam?
According to Action Fraud, 517 cases of ghost broking were reported in 2021 alone. If you have already fallen victim to the Ghost-broking scam and are facing prosecution for driving without insurance, contact our team of specialist driving offence solicitors today on 0330 33 22 770 for free initial advice. Assistance from a expert in vehicle insurance cases could make the difference between walking out of Court with your licence intact or facing a lengthy ban, and getting advice at an early stage can be crucial.
Who we are
Ashworth Motoring Law are a national firm of specialist motoring offence solicitors who represent drivers who at risk of being disqualified from driving. We regularly update drivers on the latest developments in motoring law and highlight issues which could affect your ability to drive. We offer free legal advice to drivers in relation to any driving offence and regularly appear in national and local press to promote driver safety and awareness.
Article written by Senior Solicitor Advocate and Managing Director of Ashworth Motoring Law, Alison Ashworth. Mrs Ashworth is one of the Countries leading specialist motoring law solicitors and provides commentary on the latest developments in the field of driving law. She represents drivers who appear before the Criminal Courts throughout the Country and is passionate in her belief that no driver should lose their driving licence in circumstances where a valid defence is available. Alison fights for her clients both in and out of Court, representing their interests in Government consultations and in national interest groups. If you would like Alison Ashworth to provide an expert opinion on any motoring law related issue, or to provide training at your organisation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.