Bogus holiday sickness claims costing travel industry 'over £240m'

Government issues call for evidence as it looks to curb bogus travel sickness claims

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Government issues call for evidence as it looks to curb bogus travel sickness claims 0

The Ministry of Justice launched an investigation on Friday into an "epidemic" of bogus health insurance claims by United Kingdom holidaymakers, after total claims shot up 500 percent in three years.

ABTA has launched its own campaign to educate British travellers on the legal implications of making a fraudulent claims after seeing a 500% increase from around 5,000 claims in 2013 to around 35,000 claims in 2016.

The findings are contrary to travel industry data that shows globally incidence of illness in resorts has actually declined in recent years.

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The upsurge in holiday sickness claims in the United Kingdom is partly fuelled by touts operating in European resorts. The MoJ believes the disparity with claims figures in other European countries suggests the United Kingdom has a problem with the scale of bogus claims.

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

The Association of British Travel Agents says the average value of a gastric illness claim is £2,100, and claims cost on average £3,800 to defend. We're taking action to deter these claims, and protect holiday-makers from being ripped off'.

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The Ministry of Justice made its call for evidence today, urging travel firms to submit a wide range of information, such as the volume of claims and damages awarded.

The projected total cost of claims to the industry in 2016, including damages paid, was estimated by ABTA to be over £240 million.

These proposals will be considered by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, which is responsible for setting rules on legal costs.

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