ABTA highlights alarming rise in sickness claims
Representatives from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) have met with officials from the Ministry of Justice to highlight the growing problem of gastric illness compensation claims made through UK claims management companies.
The move comes in the wake of Spanish hoteliers joining forces to fight what they see as fraudulent claims and follows reports among ABTA members of dramatic increases in claims during 2016. ABTA is now collating data and feedback, with evidence to date showing that the significant increases in gastric illness claims simply do not match up with recorded sickness levels in resort.
The evidence ABTA has seen points towards an increase in the travel-related activities of claims management companies, following civil justice reforms in 2012. These reforms included measures that were intended to clamp down on fraudulent personal injury claims, but excluded incidents that occurred overseas from the expansion of the regime for fixed recoverable costs.
As well as meeting with the Ministry of Justice to discuss the industry’s concerns, ABTA is asking the Government and other regulators to consider what can be done to address the issue, and has outlined some important steps including enabling travel companies to benefit from the fixed costs regime.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA’s chief executive said: “This trend is a serious concern for our Members, for the industry as a whole and for consumers. It was clear from our meeting with the Ministry of Justice that they recognise that this is a real issue that merits further attention.
“We will continue to work proactively with the policymakers and regulators, sharing intelligence and data to support the industry’s case for change.”