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‘Fake Sickness’ claims have been an issue in the travel industry for some time, but the number of these types of claims has spiraled in recent years bringing big repercussions to not only the industry but also to UK passengers. It has been reported that the Spanish Hotel industry alone, has suffered losses of over £50 million pounds a year due to these types of claims! And whilst a claimant may be rewarded between £500-£2000, the actual legal costs can actually total up to £50,000!!!

It is believed that the rise in these bogus claims is down to rogue firms touting for business outside of resorts and hotels in popular tourist areas. The ACC (Alliance of Claims Companies) has vowed to work with regulators and the travel industry to find out who these firms are and expel any members that encourage fake sickness cases.

 

But here’s what it could mean for the Travel Industry and UK Passengers –

How these ‘fake claims’ will affect the travel industry:

  • To cover the costs of these claims, businesses will need to increase their costs by at least 15%!
  • Risk of All-Inclusive contracts being pulled from the UK Market.
  • Potential risk of putting All-Inclusive resorts out of business.

 

How these ‘fake claims’ will affect passengers:

  • Increase in the price of holidays.
  • There is the risk that ‘All-Inclusive’ holidays for UK Passengers will be stopped altogether, with some Spanish hoteliers already refusing to accept British tourists on an ‘All-Inclusive’ basis.
  • There will be the possibility of genuine claims being denied due to the many bogus claims.

 

So how exactly are these ‘fake claim’s being combated?

  • ABTA has launched a ‘Stop Sickness Scams‘ campaign which encourages members of the travel industry and the public to lobby MPs.
  • The Queens Speech included measures to regulate claims management companies.
  • Travel Weekly have launched their ‘Fight Fake Claims’ Campaign asking members of the travel industry to register their support.
  • Passengers that are found to have submitted a bogus claim now face jail time in either a UK or overseas prison.
  • Brits found guilty of making bogus claims will be at risk of being blacklisted by a number of well-known operators.

 

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive, ABTA showing his support for the ‘Stop Sickness Scams’ campaign

 

We would love to know your thoughts on this subject – how do you think that these bogus claims could be combated? And do you think there is enough awareness of the adverse affect this will have on UK Passengers and the UK Travel industry?