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Motor vehicles

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One in every five vehicles on the nation’s roads is uninsured, according to estimates from the Association of T&T Insurance Companies (ATTIC).

“It is conservatively estimated that as many as 20 per cent of vehicles on our roads may be uninsured,” ATTIC stated.

ATTIC made the statement as it commended the T&T Police Service (TTPS) for the recent apprehension of an alleged perpetrator of motor insurance certificate fraud.

It has been reported that individual was responsible for the issuance of at least 90 fully comprehensive and third-party fraudulent motor insurance certificates.

“The victims of these fraudulent activities would not have only been defrauded of the premiums paid to this individual but would have been uninsured and therefore would not have been compensated in event of an accident,” ATTIC stated.

ATTIC said it understands that the certificates issued to these victims bore the “official” stamp of a local general insurance company.

To avoid becoming a victim to this type of fraud, ATTIC cautioned drivers to verify that they are purchasing motor insurance from an agent/ salesperson who is licensed by the Central Bank (CBTT) to transact business.

To confirm the validity of the agent, ATTIC said customers should 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,” ATTIC stated.

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

Anyone seeking to purchase motor insurance should also check the CBTT’s website for a listing of authorised agents salesmen.

If you are paying for the premium by cheque, ATTIC has also advised people to issue it directly to the insurance company and avoid writing a cheque in the personal name of the agent or salesperson.

Also, ensure that you receive an official receipt in the name of the insurance company and that you have contact details for the person handling your transactions.

ATTIC also advised people not to assume that a person wearing clothing with a company’s logo is an employee or representative of that company.

“Do not assume that a document such as a motor certificate with the company’s logo is authentic as these can be easily produced via sophisticated computer software,” ATTIC stated.

“Do not assume that 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,” it stated.

ATTIC stated that 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 stated.

ATTIC officially launched its Insurance Claimsbank Database initiative on May 1.

“This database which is inter alia designed to detect and prevent insurance fraud will be shared with the Ministry of Works and Transport and the TTPS in order to arrest this illegal activity,” ATTIC stated.