Find out how insurance and warranty schemes work, how to tell if it's a scam, and what to do if you are scammed.First published: 20/04/2016 Last updated: 20/03/2023 See all updates
On this page
If you buy a mobile phone, a TV, or a home appliance, you may think about getting it insured. Especially if you’d struggle to get it fixed or replaced if something went wrong.
Some scammers take advantage of this by selling fake insurance.
Other fraudsters target individuals looking for cheaper car insurance. This is known as 'ghost broking', and it could leave you with no protection if you need to make a claim.
If you’re looking to buy a financial product or service, our Financial Services Register will show you if the business is authorised and what protections you may have.
How insurance and warranty scams work
A warranty is a guarantee to replace or repair an item if it breaks. It’s usually provided by the manufacturer when you buy a product such as a washing machine.
Warranties are technically insurance contracts. And because arranging and providing insurance is a regulated activity, the company offering it to you must be authorised by us.
The fraudsters may contact you unexpectedly soon after you buy an item or start a new contract.
They may claim they’re linked to your provider, or the store or company where you bought the product. They may also advertise their offers on social media or on online forums, often at cheaper rates than real policies.
If you agree to the offer, the scammers may give you fake documents or they may use fake details to buy cheaper insurance, which they then sell to you.
Unfortunately, you may only find out you don’t have the cover you need, when your claim is rejected.
How to protect yourself
You should always check the details on your insurance policy to make sure they’re correct. This includes your name, address, contact details and the details of the item you need cover for.
You should also make sure the firm you’re dealing with is genuine.
Check the firm’s contact details and make sure they match the contact details you’ve been using. If there aren’t any contact details listed on the FS Register, or the firm says they’re out of date, call us on 0800 111 6768.
Report an insurance or warranty scam
If you’re worried about a potential scam, or you think you may have been contacted by a fraudster, report it to us.
Call us on 0800 111 6768 or use our contact form to get in touch.