As many as 9.5 million British adults have been approached about making a compensation claim for being sick while on holiday, according to findings from ABTA – the British Travel Association.
New figures from a YouGov survey of British adults reveal almost one in five people have been contacted about making a compensation claim for holiday sickness. The most common way people said they were approached was over the phone, followed by text and email. Some people also reported being contacted on social media and some were approached in person including in airports or while on holiday.
The new figures are released as part of ABTA’s ‘Stop Sickness Scams’ campaign, which highlights that false claims are costing the travel industry tens of millions of pounds. ABTA is calling for the urgent closure of a loophole in the law, which enables claims management companies and legal firms to make more money in fees from sickness claims abroad, than they’re able to from personal injuries in the UK.
Evidence from the travel industry and customers highlights that some claims management companies are contacting people out of the blue, encouraging them to make a false claim and often misleadingly saying there is a pot of money waiting to be claimed - but aren’t telling them the risks involved.
The new research finds seven in 10 people don’t know that making a false claim for holiday sickness could result in a prison sentence in the UK or abroad. Just two in five think people could receive a fine in the UK or abroad.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA’s Chief Executive said: “False claims don’t just make UK holidaymakers vulnerable to serious penalties – they’re also costing travel companies and hotel owners tens millions of pounds and tarnishing the reputation of the British abroad. Closing the loophole in the law in time for the 2018 holiday season will make a big difference in tackling fraudulent sickness claims.”