Fake agents are illegally selling auto insurance ID cards in Maui, using the names of real agents and legitimate businesses, First Insurance Company of Hawaii warned Wednesday.
The maps list FICOH as the carrier and Business Insurance Services as the insurance agency, according to a press release. Dozens of unsuspecting victims have called to file a claim or attempted to complete their security inspections only to find they don’t actually have a policy with FICOH. When they find they have no insurance, they have to pay for the damage out of their own pocket or face illegal driving of their car.
Fake cards listing other insurance companies have also been reported.
Criminals who sell fake cards often pose as insurance agents; Maui fraudsters are using the names of legitimate agents and pocketing premiums paid by victims without obtaining or providing coverage, the company said.
The company offered tips to protect against fraud, including:
• Take note of where the agent is asking the customer to go to make a payment. If it’s somewhere other than their office or the carrier’s website, it could be a sign of a scam.
• Request an electronic or paper copy of the insurance policy; failure to produce one could indicate that the agent never purchased the insurance.
• Looking at the printing on the insurance card. A fake card may have different shades of printing, while genuine cards should have a consistent ink color.
• Check that the year, make, model and VIN of the vehicle correspond to the same information on the car.
• Make sure the card contains the effective and expiry date of the policy, the policy number, the name and contact details of the insurance company and the name of the insurance agent, who must be the same as that of the person from whom the customer is purchasing the policy. If any of this information is missing, it’s a red flag that the card may be wrong.
Residents can verify their auto insurance by contacting the carrier or agent listed on the card or by contacting the Hawaii Division of Motor Vehicles. They must also confirm that the auto insurance company, insurance agency, and insurance agent are licensed to do business in Hawaii by contacting the Hawaii Division of Insurance.
Any suspected fraudulent activity can also be reported to the National Insurance Crime Bureau at www.nicb.org/how-we-help/report-fraud.