Crackdown on faking illness for compensation
Tour operators have warned that the British could be banned from all-inclusive package holidays or the price of going on all-inclusive holidays could rise by around 15%, unless the number of fraudulent food poisoning claims significantly drops. There has been a huge spike in reports of holiday sickness, mostly from British tourists. Claims in Spain, for example, have increased by around 430% since 2013.
The Foreign Office has updated its travel advice with the new guidelines warning tourists that they may face legal proceedings if they are caught faking an illness to try and get compensation.
Rogue firms have been using touts at the holiday destinations to encourage tourists to make illness allegations so that the firm can receive part of the compensation. Tourists are being warned that anyone found to be making such a claim could face a criminal prosecution or civil liability either in the UK or aboard.
One British couple in the news recently, have been accused of making a fake holiday sickness compensation claim and the hotel has launched a £170,000 counter-claim for damaging its reputation. The couple were apparently contacted by a claims management firm and have been left in a difficult position regarding legal costs for the solicitors if they drop the claim.
Some of these claims management firms are leading tourists into believing they can make a fraudulent or exaggerated claim without any consequences.
Unfortunately this is making it harder for those with genuine claims, whose holidays have been ruined, to receive the compensation they deserve. If you have been on an all-inclusive holiday, not eaten off site and suffered a gastric illness then you need to make sure you get a report from the hotel or tour rep and medical evidence at the time of illness. It is then important to seek advice from your travel insurer as soon as possible.