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Holiday sickness scam clampdown praised

FOLLOWING the announcement that the UK Government will fix the legal costs that can be claimed in package holiday sickness claims, travel agent organisation ABTA has given its own reaction to the policy.

In a statement, Chief Executive of ABTA Mark Tanzer said: “False sickness claims have been costing the travel industry tens of millions of pounds and damaging British tourists’ reputation abroad.”

Since 2013 legal fees for personal injury claims which occurred in the UK have been capped, which is why in partnership with Claims Management Companies, firms of solicitors have been targeting customers who have taken an overseas all-inclusive package holiday.

This has contributed to a 500% increase in sickness claims at a time when actual incidents reported by customers in resort have either remained stable or declined.

“We are pleased that the Ministry of Justice has responded to the concerns and evidence raised by ABTA and our Members, by taking firm action on this issue.

“Closing the legal loophole before the summer should lead to a reduction in the number of false claims.

“We encourage the Government to keep this matter under review and continue to pursue a ban on cold calling by claims management companies in relation to sickness claims.”

The action follows a number of fake claims over a number of years which culminated in £15,000 fine being handed down last month to a couple from Liverpool (Chelsea Devine, 21, and Jamie Melling, 22,) who each claimed £2,500 in compensation after claiming food at the hotel in Benidorm had left them feeling ill for weeks.

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