Some insurance customers discover the first time they file a claim that the policy they thought they purchased doesn’t exist because the agent or broker kept the premium payment that was supposed to be forwarded to the insurer. The best way to avoid becoming a scam victim is to check out the agent or broker before you pay any money.
Work only with licensed agents and brokers—ask to see their license and then confirm it is valid with your state’s department of insurance (www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm). Check with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) to see if there are complaints against the agent/broker or the business.
It doesn’t hurt to do an online search for the seller’s name to see what kind of results pop up. The New York State Department of Financial Services (www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/fd5victc.htm) offers good advice for insurance customers and drivers in every state.