Don’t make fraudulent claims

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Nobody wants to stop legitimate travel insurance claims.. But the last nine months or so has seen an explosion in those people claiming fraudulently.

ABTA has had enough as have airlines, tour operators, hotels and travel agents. Jet 2 has private detectives in places watching the activities of con-men trying to persuade holidaymakers to claim and one hotel has hit back with a claim that could see a couple who, it is alleged, are pursuing a fraudulent claim lose their home.  It has launched a new two-pronged political and consumer campaign to persuade the Government to crack down on bogus holiday sickness claims.

Its ‘Stop Sickness Scams’ campaign points out to holidaymakers the consequences of making a false claim. Under the Fraud Act a conviction could include a fine, a community based sentence or up to six months imprisonment.

ABTA and its members have been working with the Ministry of Justice for several months, sharing claims data and asking for regulatory change to address the loophole that has left travel companies vulnerable to spurious sickness claims. They could do worse than , as I suggested yesterday, persuade MP’s to back an amendment to the foreshadowed Civil Liability Bill and crackdown on travel insurance claims as well as motor insurance ones.

David Lidington MP, Justice Secretary

A letter signed by ABTA Members presented to the new Justice Secretary David Lidington kick-started the campaign earlier this week. The letter asks for a meeting with him and asks that compensation be limited to a fixed amount. That won’t resolve bogus claims though and they should ask Lidington for help in exposing claims agents or the representatives who are persuading holidaymakers to file claims fraudulently.

Alongside the lobbying arm of the campaign there will be a digital advertising campaign directly targeting people who might consider claiming.

ABTA is encouraging members to support the campaign on social media by sharing materials and using #StopSicknessScams to counteract what it says are the ‘highly misleading advertising’ of ‘unscrupulous claims management companies. It also wants people who receive cold calls to report the callers to the Claims Management Regulator.  Those aware of a fake holiday sickness claim, are asked to report it to Action Fraud.

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