Govt steps up holiday sickness claim crackdown

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The government is aiming to put a stop to the UK’s holiday sickness claim culture by encouraging travel industry bodies to submit evidence surrounding suspicious cases.

Ministers have issued a call for evidence documents which is designed to provide a greater insight into the increase of false insurance claims that have arisen in recent years. Since 2013, there has been a staggering 500% increase in the amount of holiday sickness claims which the government believes is damaging British holidaymakers’ reputation overseas.

The latest advance in the crackdown will ask members of the travel industry to submit a range of information which will detail the amount of claims and the level of damages awarded. Launched on October 13th, the process will remain open for four weeks when ministers will then determine how to best combat this growing issue.

Justice Minister Dominic Raab said: “Bogus claims against tour operators risk driving up the price of summer holidays abroad for hard-working families who have earned a break.”

In a statement, the government explained that tour operators are more likely to settle holiday sickness claims out of court rather than challenge them as the legal cost are not controlled. It means that the costs for tour operators could be significantly out of proportion to the damages claimed.

The new proposals, outlined by ministers, would see tour operators pay a prescribed sum depending on the value of the claim they believe would aim to deter bogus claims. The Civil Procedure Rule Committee is set to consider these plans which, if approved, could be put into force in early 2018.

This latest proposal highlights the government’s determination to crack down on the holiday sickness claim culture. It comes as a couple who falsely claimed they had fallen ill on holiday to Mallorca were jailed.

Deborah Briton and partner Paul Roberts attempted to claim £20,000 compensation from Thomas Cook after stating that they and their two children had become sick while abroad. However, Judge David Aubrey QC described their claims as a “complete and utter sham” sentencing them to nine and 15 months in prison, respectively.

Read more on the government’s latest proposals here – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/move-to-end-bogus-holiday-sickness-claims

Learn more about the Stop Sickness Scams campaign here.