ABTA welcomes Government’s move to crackdown on false holiday sickness claims

Following an announcement on Sunday 9 July that the Government will be taking action to tackle false sickness claims, ABTA is urging the industry to maintain momentum on the #StopSicknessScams campaign. 

The association is calling on the travel industry, and its partners, to respond to the Government’s Call for Evidence, which is expected to be published soon.

Over the last year, ABTA and its members have worked to present a body of evidence to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) showing that whilst claims have increased by over 500%, there has been no corresponding rise in reported levels of sickness in resorts.

The Call for Evidence will build on this work and seek to gather further data and views.

ABTA will also continue to work with Government to support long-term solutions to the problem, including further reforms to increase transparency in the relationship between claims firms and solicitors.

As part of its #StopSicknessScams campaign, during the summer ABTA will continue to warn holidaymakers that making a false or exaggerated claim is fraud, and that they could face up to three years in prison if found guilty.

Earlier this week Thomas Cook won a case against a family who were ruled to have made a false sickness claim. The judge in that case found that there had been fundamental dishonesty and ordered the Claimants to pay a contribution to the tour operator’s costs.

ABTA is today releasing two new videos to highlight the risks of making a fraudulent sickness claim. ABTA will share the videos on social media and promote them using online advertising. Members and industry partners are encouraged to share the videos through their own social media channels.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: “”We strongly welcome the Government’s commitment to address the loophole in the law, and urge that this happens as quickly as possible. The loophole is allowing claims companies to unduly profit from false claims. Though this is real progress, ABTA will continue to raise consumer awareness of the issue and work with Members on the campaign. Fake claims are tarnishing British holidaymakers’ reputation abroad and could lead to higher prices or less choice for honest holidaymakers. We will continue to work with Government to ensure that a long-term solution to this problem is found.”

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