Travellers might be encouraged to submit a false claim
The UK travel industry is concerned about the dramatic increase in illness claims made by holidaymakers.
Marketing from claims management companies both here in the UK and at resorts, may lead people to believe that submitting a claim could bring them some easy money.
Frank Brehany, consumer direct at Holiday Travel Watch, has warned holidaymakers that submitting false claims could see them in court as the defence. He said:
“Consumers need to be aware there is plenty of criminal law in this country that can catch up with you and you will go to prison for a long time.”
He is disgusted that some firms are persuading consumers to make a claim when clearly there isn’t one.
Brehany warned those who are active in resorts encouraging holidaymakers to claim that they won’t escape the clutches of the UK legal system here in the UK.
“You can be prosecuted for being party to the commission of a fraud and you too can go to prison for a long time.”
ABTA members are concerned and are calling for action
Following reports from members of dramatic increased in claims during 2016, ABTA, the Travel Association, met with officials from the Ministry of Justice in November to highlight the growing problem of gastric illness compensation claims made through UK claims management companies.
ABTA reported that evidence showed that the significant increases in gastric illness claims simply do not match up with recorded sickness levels in resort.
Brehany said that the numbers of false claims are not known, but there is current legislation that travel companies can use if they suspect that someone has submitted a false claim.
“If you suspect somebody of committing a fraud report them to the police.”
If you do fall ill while on holiday
If someone does fall ill while away, then in the first instance the holidaymaker should give the travel company the opportunity to put things right. If they don’t put it right, then there is the opportunity to go to law.
“One really important factor any consumer should remember in order to prove your case and in civil law it is on the balance of probabilities you have to have evidence.
“If you don’t have the evidence then you are not going to be successful in your claim.”
You should seek independent legal advice when making a claim, but if anyone says that as you are going get x thousands of pounds:
“for goodness sake run away from them and don’t engage in any conversation with that kind of chap at all”.