Specialist insurance industry law firm Horwich Farrelly, which describes itself as having a zero tolerance approach to fraud, has successfully defended more than 2,000 holiday illness claims in 10 months.
Urging tour operators to adopt the same approach, Horwich Farrelly has been working with the travel industry not only to investigate potentially fraudulent claims but also provide a robust defence for court cases. This goes a long way amid millions in annual losses reportedly being suffered by the sector because of holiday sickness fraud.
In January, as part of its “Stop Sickness Scams” campaign, the UK’s largest travel association revealed that as many as 9.5 million adults have been approached about making a compensation claim for supposedly being ill while on holiday. ABTA found that 70% of British holidaymakers are not aware that making such a false claim could result in imprisonment.
“Unscrupulous claims companies are fooling travellers into thinking they can win back the cost of their holiday, and often more than that, by making bogus claims for holiday sickness,” said Mark Hudson, head of counter fraud at Horwich Farrelly. “However, make no mistake, these companies are in fact helping British tourists commit fraud.
“These types of claims, if successful, are typically worth several thousands of pounds, so the savings to the travel industry are substantial. We are delighted with the results we have achieved working alongside the travel industry to ensure that any holidaymaker or professional enabler making a dishonest claim will pay the price.”
Meanwhile the law firm is also happy about fixed recoverable costs being extended to package holiday sickness claims.
“We are very pleased that the MoJ (Ministry of Justice) has adopted this proposal which will introduce some key changes, and we will continue to work with the travel industry to convey a clear and simple message; fraud will not be tolerated regardless of the value of the claim,” stressed Hudson.