Government Crackdown on Fraudulent Holiday Sickness Claims

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The Government is set to act against firms who break the rules and encourage travellers and holidaymakers to make fraudulent sickness claims when abroad…

The Ministry of Justice’s Claims Management Services Regulator is to examine the relationship between firms that encourage tourists to lie about holiday sickness and solicitors who take the cases on.

The Ministry told the Daily Mail: “Tackling fraud in the claims management industry is a key priority and the Claims Management Services Regulator has taken significant steps to clean up this area. We have tough sanctions for firms that break the rules, and if any wrongdoing is discovered, we will take the necessary action.”

Recently the Government and ABTA warned UK holidaymakers over the consequences of making fraudulent sickness claims when abroad on holiday.

According to Foreign and Commonwealth Office, (FCO): “Recently there have reports of a rise in claims companies targeting holidaymakers at resorts in Spain inviting them to make false insurance claims regarding holiday sickness.  Making a fraudulent insurance claim is illegal and a criminal offence in Spain and can incur penalties such as heavy fines and imprisonment.”

ABTA says its Members have reported “a dramatic increase” in the number of gastric illness clams being made by holidaymakers abroad.

“Many of these claims are supported by very little evidence and do not match up with recorded sickness levels in holiday resorts. We believe this is being driven by the aggressive marketing practices of some claims management companies, touting their services to UK holidaymakers either in destinations or when they are back in the UK.

“Pursuing a fraudulent claim is illegal and the UK Government has recently changed its travel advice to warn holidaymakers about this – you can read the updated advice here.

“In addition, handing over personal data to the kinds of individuals or companies who are prepared to indulge in fraud has its own clear dangers. ABTA would also warn customers about the potentially very serious consequences of pursuing a bogus claim in the country where the holiday has taken place, where the penalties for breaking the law can be much harsher than in the UK. This growing problem also runs the risk of seriously damaging the reputation of all UK holidaymakers.

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