Insurance fraud specialist throws out over 2,000 bogus sickness claims in 10 months
The specialist law firm, Horwich Farrelly has thrown out over 2,000 fake holiday sickness claims in just 10 months.
Earlier this year, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) reported that the number of holiday sickness claims has increased by 500% since 2013, with the same report also disclosing that 1 in 5 adults had been approached whilst on holiday to make a compensation claim for holiday sickness.
Last month, ministers announced a plan to cap legal costs for holiday sickness claims to stop fraudsters and the ‘compensation culture’.
In response, Horwich Farrelly has been urging all tour operators to follow the motor insurance industry’s lead by adopting a zero-tolerance approach to tackling bogus or dishonest claims.
For the last ten months, Horwich Farrelly has been working with the travel industry to investigate claims.
“In those ten months, it has thrown out over 2,000 claims and launched investigations into ‘enablers’ that are reported to be behind the increase in claims volumes. This includes doctors, nurses, solicitors and Claims Management Companies (CMCs).
Mark Hudson (pictured), head of Counter Fraud at Horwich Farrelly comments: “Unscrupulous claims companies are fooling travellers into thinking they can win back the cost of their holiday, and often more than that, by making bogus claims for holiday sickness. However, make no mistake, these companies are in fact helping British tourists commit fraud.
“These types of claims, if successful, are typically worth several thousands of pounds so the savings to the travel industry are substantial. We are delighted with the results we have achieved working alongside the travel industry to ensure that any holidaymaker or professional enabler making a dishonest claim will pay the price.
“Last month, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) confirmed that fixed recoverable costs are to be extended to package holiday sickness claims which will undoubtedly play a very important part in combatting fraud in this area.
“We are very pleased that the MoJ has adopted this proposal which will introduce some key changes and we will continue to work with the travel industry to convey a clear and simple message; fraud will not be tolerated regardless of the value of the claim.”