UK holidaymakers returning from abroad are being warned about the consequences of making a false claim for sickness. In the past year, many thousands have made claims despite reported sickness levels in resorts remaining stable. Churchers managing partner, Ian Robinson, expresses concern at the increase in the number of claims against tour operators.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has included a warning in its advice checklist for people travelling to foreign countries – the first time the government has made such a warning. This comes after reports of holidaymakers being encouraged by claims management companies (CMCs) to submit a claim for personal injury if they have gastric illness. The warning is a further sign of rising tensions in government about the claims, as CMC’s come under closer scrutiny from authorities and regulators.
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has also warned that claims firms are wrong in telling the public there is no risk in seeking compensation, despite not being unwell. Making a false claim is a criminal offence and, if a false claim is made, there is a risk of a prison sentence in either the UK or the country where the claim originated.
Ian Robinson said: ‘You should only consider pursuing a complaint or claim if you have genuinely suffered from injury or illness. If you make a false or fraudulent claim, you may face legal proceedings in the UK or abroad.’
The Ministry of Justice’s Claims Management Regulator, which today confirmed meeting with ABTA earlier this year to ‘better understand the challenges’ in relation to this issue, stated:
“We are investigating the conduct of regulated CMCs and unauthorised entities in relation to a surge in holiday sickness claims. This includes the regulatory action needed to deal quickly and effectively with any misconduct by either regulated CMCs, lawyers, or those who are simply operating completely illegally.”
The regulator has also discussed the claims increase with tour operators, hotel representatives and the police, and is working to ‘share intelligence’.
If you are considering whether to make a claim following illness suffered whilst on holiday, contact Claire Bond who is one of our specialist team dealing with personal injury claims on 02392 820747.
A new Act will come into force on 20th March 2019 which states that any property let by a landlord as a home must be fit for living in. This includes private renting, social housing and houses of multiple occupancy (HMO).More Info
Senior Probate Executive, Alanna White, comments on a new system alerting charities to when they have been left money in wills is to be established by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) following a decision to end its current arrangement.More Info
Partner, Hannah Jones, considers the implications of a recent ruling from the European court of Justice, which was asked “Do you need to insure a car that is kept secured off-road and which you have no intention of using?”More Info
The ‘gig’ economy is characterised by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs. It is either a positive working environment that offers a great deal of flexibility.More Info