The Association of Trinidad and Tobago Insurance Companies (ATTIC) is commending the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) for the recent apprehension of an alleged perpetrator of motor insurance certificate fraud. 

Reports are that the person in question was responsible for the issuance of at least ninety fully comprehensive and third-party fraudulent motor insurance certificates.

In an official statement on the matter, ATTIC observes that not only would the victims of these fraudulent activities have been defrauded of the premiums paid to this individual; but they also would have been uninsured and therefore, would not have been compensated in event of an accident. 

“ATTIC gives kudos to the TTPS in this major breakthrough on the issuance of fraudulent motor insurance certificates,” the lobby group says in the release.

According to ATTIC, conservative estimates are that as many as 20 per cent of vehicles on the nation’s roads may be uninsured.

The insurance industry lobby points out that the certificates issued to the fraudster’s victims bore the “official” stamp of a local general insurance company, and shares advice on how the members of the public could avoid becoming victims of motor insurance fraud.

WHEN PURCHASING MOTOR INSURANCE FROM AN AGENT/ SALESPERSON

Please verify that they are licensed by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) to transact business on behalf of a licensed insurer:

Request proof of their CBTT registration. When you visit an Agent’s offices, their CBTT registration must be displayed in a location that is easily visible.

If there are doubts, contact the insurance company to verify that the person is licensed to sell motor insurance on their behalf.

Visit the website of the CBTT at http://www.central-bank.org.tt/content/insurance-sector, for a listing of authorised Agents Salesmen.

WHEN PAYING PREMIUMS

If paying for the premium by cheque – issue it directly to the Insurance Company. Avoid writing a cheque in the personal name of the Agent or Salesperson.

Ensure that you receive an official receipt in the name of the insurance company.

Ensure that you have contact details for the person handling your transactions.

DO NOT ASSUME

That a person wearing clothing with a company’s logo is an employee or representative of that company.

A document such as a Motor Certificate with the company’s logo is authentic as these can be easily produced via sophisticated computer software.

A person with a call card bearing the company’s name and logo is an employee or representative of that company. These can be easily printed.

ATTIC notes that the recent amendments to the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2019, which introduces legislation that will enable the authorities to use technology that will assist greatly in combatting motor fraud, is a step in the right direction.

“We recommend that urgent consideration be also given to permitting the issuance and use of electronic motor certificates and access to real time motor policy information, as additional tools to be used by the TTPS and the Ministry of Works and Transport,” ATTIC says in the release. 

ATTIC officially launched its Insurance Claimsbank Database initiative on May 1st 2020, which it says is designed to detect and prevent insurance fraud.

ATTIC confirms that the database will be shared with the Ministry of Works and Transport, as well as the TTPS, in order to arrest such illegal activity.