Preston firm stripped of licence over sickness claims

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An agency encouraging holidaymakers to make exaggerated holiday sickness claims has been stripped of its licence in an ongoing crackdown.

In a joint investigation by the Claims Management Regulator (CMR) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Preston-based Allsure Ltd had been found to have increasingly misled customers to ensure they made holiday sickness claims. Intelligence from the CMR showed the holidaymakers had been urged to “fabricate or embellish symptoms of gastric illness to get compensation”.

The MoJ added that Allsure Ltd had been using deceptive sales scripts and exaggerated the expected payout to entice customers. Officials stated that the company has been stripped of its right to offer regulated claims management to new or existing clients.

It represents the first time a claims management company (CMC) has seen its licence revoked in the “holiday sickness sector”. It is part of an ongoing campaign by the travel industry to eliminate this hugely damaging trend.

Kevin Rousell, head of the CMR, said: “We will take firm action against claims businesses which engage in serious misconduct. Seeking to encourage false claims will not be tolerated.”

There has been a growing concern within the travel industry about the rise in the number of holiday sickness claims. Since 2013, there has been a 500% increase in these claims and it is causing a negative effect on both the reputation of the British travel industry and UK holidaymakers in general.

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is working hard to combat the issue with its Stop Sickness Scams campaign. It is aimed at pressuring the government to implement stricter regulation and close a loophole used by touts to exploit travel operators. The group also wants sickness claims to be classed in the same way exaggerated whiplash claims are.

Read more about the Stop Sickness Scam campaign here.