Holiday companies have warned that unless fake holiday insurance claims are tackled, then the cost of an average family holiday could increase. Although thousands of claims are real, there are thousands more that are not, and according to travel experts this is all thanks to new legal companies setting up to encourage fake insurance claims.
Making a false claim has become a little money spinner for people going abroad, there have been reports of thousands of people going abroad with one aim, and that is to pretend they got food poisoning to make a false claim.
Tour operators have lost millions of pounds due to false claims. All a solicitor needs to make a claim is the details of the holiday and a receipt from a chemist abroad for a product that helps to cure an upset stomach. To combat these false claims, Spanish tourism chiefs and hotel managers have called on chemists not to sell products unless the customer provides a prescription from a doctor
The situation of fake holiday claims has become so serious that some Spanish hotels are talking about banning UK holidaymakers from booking their All-Inclusive option. The government has now listened to the concerns of the travel industry and is determined to take action.
Under the new rules set down by the government, tour operators now only have to pay a set sum of the value of the claim. This will give them greater incentive to defend a claim.
Justice Secretary David Lidington said: “Our message to those who make false holiday sickness claims is clear – your actions are damaging and will not be tolerated.
The Justice Secretary has assured the travel industry that he is taking the problem of false holiday claims seriously. He is currently looking at even more steps to combat the growing false claims that are being made.
“This Government is absolutely determined to tackle the compensation culture which has penalised the honest majority for too long,” he explained.
Under the current law, a person making a false holiday claim can expect to be sentenced to up to three years in prison.
By Chantelle Schmitt