A few years ago crash-for-cash seemed to be the scam of choice, but as technology like dashcams, telematics and automated scanning of people’s social media and Google history has become the norm, many dubious claimants have tried another route to easy money. But the insurance industry is fighting back and cracking down on fraud.
With bogus holiday sickness claims reported to be costing the travel sector £50 million per year, Horwich Farrelly, the specialist insurance industry law firm, has been working with the travel industry to apply its proven zero tolerance approach to fraud. In just ten months, the firm has successfully defended more than 2,000 holiday illness claims.
Earlier this year, 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. 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 potentially fraudulent claims, as well as provide a robust defence for any cases taken to court. As a result, it has successfully defended more than 2,000 claims as well as tackling professional ‘enablers’, including doctors, solicitors and Claims Management Companies (CMCs) that are reported to be behind the increase in claims volumes.
Mark Hudson, 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.
“Earlier this 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.”