September 29, 2014

As Bankstone News’ major exposé of application fraud last week (Punt-taking chancers) made clear, the practice of lying to insurance providers has reached epidemic proportions within UK peopledom. The root cause of this regrettable phenomemon, as with most of the major problems confronting this country today, seems likely to be that too many people are doing insurance-type things without involving brokers.

Aaron Copland, head of dating strategies at insurance soft-wear provider SSP (or “Sssssp!” as what it is known as), reckons he has put his finger on one of the main reasons everyone is lying their pants off to insurers. The thing, to be more specific, on which the Copland finger has come to rest, in this particular instance, is so-called comparison sites.

That’s right: just as social media makes it easier to insult, abuse and distress people you’ve never met, just as ‘online casinos’ make it easier for evening-wear dodgers to ruin themselves clad only in their unwashed undergarb, online comparison sites allow people to misrepresent themselves to prospective insurers without any of the compunction they might experience when dealing with a broker.

Like radiant little angels perching as Noel “Arthur J” Gallagher might put it ‘on the shoulder of clients’, insurance brokers have a key role to play in keeping people in touch with their better instincts, Copland argues. In the good old days, he told Posts Magazine in a recent interview, “brokers protected insurers from application fraud by making the consumer aware of what they were doing and ensuring they provided the right information.”

Mindfulness is the crucial point here. If would-be insurance purchasers aren’t even aware of what they are doing, how can we seriously expect them to know the difference between truth and lies, right and wrong, a clean driving licence and a string of recent convictions culminating in a three year ban?

The imperative is clear for any government that is truly serious about rolling back the insidious tide of immorality currently spreading throughout this once-great nation: an immediate and outright ban on meerkats, talking robots, string-haired ladies and the like, and an absolute requirement that brokers be involved in all transactions of an insurance-related nature.

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