Team AckoNov 8, 2022
From small-scale email scams to large-scale bank frauds, people have always fallen prey to such schemes and will continue to do so if they are not vigilant. The insurance industry is no exception to such misadventures. And issuing fake bike insurance is one such fraudulent activity that has been in existence for a long time. Read ahead to know more about fake bike insurance and ways to avoid buying it.
When an insurer (for example, ACKO) insures your bike, it means they promise to take care of the financial losses associated with the bike as per the policy’s terms and conditions.
You pay an insurance premium to purchase a policy. This policy is proof of the insurer’s promise. In case of fake motor insurance, you are issued a counterfeit bike insurance policy. Because it is fake, it does not hold the insurer’s promise. So, you have paid for the policy but haven’t received anything in return, apart from a fake document. You have been scammed!
Here are two types and examples of fake two-wheeler insurance policies that you need to be wary of.
Before the online revolution, insurance policies were issued in physical form. Even today, traditional insurers do continue to issue hard copies of the bike insurance policy. Usually, in this scenario, fake offline policies can come into the picture when there’s an involvement of unauthorised middlemen.
Suppose you are buying a bike from a two-wheeler dealership. As insuring your bike is necessary, the dealership suggests insuring it via them as they have a tie-up with an insurer. However, the bike salesman slyly offers to insure the bike for you from a different seller at a lower premium.
With the thought of paying less money, you pick the salesman’s offer. Unfortunately, a few months later, you find out that the local police have caught the salesman as well as the seller for scamming people by selling counterfeit vehicle insurance policies in India.
In today’s internet-driven world, you are most likely to receive a digital two-wheeler insurance policy in exchange for the insurance premium. It can be as simple as paying money online and downloading the policy. This simplicity and ease also make it vulnerable to scams.
Suppose your bike insurance policy is about to expire in a day. With the fear of losing your bike insurance cover, being susceptible to monetary penalties, and the possibility of legal issues, you make haste to buy a policy. You grab your phone, open the browser, and type in ‘buy bike insurance online’. As usual, the browser throws up a bunch of results.
You scan through the search results till the time one offer catches your eye. It reads, ‘Get 99% cashback on bike insurance premium’. You jump at it. You visit the website, enter your details, and make the payment to buy the policy. Your phone chimes. It’s a message saying the amount has been debited. You receive a bike insurance policy in your email id and rest assured, thinking your bike is insured.
Unfortunately, a few weeks later, when you are stopped by a traffic police officer and asked to display the bike’s papers, you come to know that you had been scammed! The policy you purchased online was a fake one offered by a fraudulent website.
Here are some handy tips to ensure you always buy a genuine bike insurance policy.
Preferably, purchase the policy directly from a certified insurer’s website such as www.acko.com or the official app.
Check the insurer’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) registration number. For instance, ACKO’s IRDAI registration number is 157.
Verify if the insurer is listed as a non-life insurer with IRDAI.
In the case of offline purchases, conduct proper due diligence regarding the seller’s authorisation to sell insurance by verifying proper documentation such as ID, authorisation, etc., as applicable.
In the case of online purchases via the insurer’s website or an aggregator website, make sure that the website is genuine by going through different web pages such as About Us, Contact Us, etc.
In case of downloading the insurer’s app, verify that the app is genuine by going through the description, details, and reviews.
Don’t fall for schemes that sound too good to be true. In the case of heavy discounts, please verify it via the brand’s social media handles or by getting in touch with their customer support team.
Always buy from a trusted brand instead of an unknown source with no authorisation.
Finding out that you have been scammed into purchasing a fake bike insurance policy can have far-reaching consequences. Here are some of them.
A fake policy has no value. This means you have no insurance. Thus, not only have you lost money buying a fake policy, but also you need to purchase a new, genuine policy. You have to deal with a monetary loss as well as spend money on the new policy.
Until the time you don’t buy a genuine policy, you will have to deal with the risks associated with a non-insured bike. Most importantly, if your uninsured bike gets damaged, you will have no financial support from the insurer and will have to manage the repair expenses on your own. You will also be exposed to legal liabilities, and monetary penalty, as insuring your bike is mandatory as per The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
The medium through which you have been sold a fake bike insurance policy is of utmost importance to determine the extent of further losses. For example, if you have shared your credit card information with a fake website, there’s a chance that your data might be compromised. This can lead to fraudulent transactions using your credit card information.
From an insurance perspective, a fake bike insurance policy is as bad as not buying a policy. Therefore, your bike will be considered uninsured till the time it is not covered under a genuine policy.
Unfortunately, buying a fake bike insurance policy would mean you have been scammed. You can file a complaint with the police but a refund for it seems impractical.
Yes, your bike will be insured under your previous bike insurance policy, considering it has not expired.
Yes, it can be a possibility. Frauds can happen even via a mobile app. Thus, it is suggested to verify the authenticity of the mobile app before renewing the policy.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet; and is subject to changes. Please go through the applicable policy wordings for updated ACKO-centric content and before making any insurance-related decisions.
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