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Nearly half of UK consumers believe it is not wrong to make a false travel insurance claim

Solicitor Rachel Keenan

Forty-six percent of consumers believe it’s acceptable to make a fraudulent claim against a hotel – that is the shocking finding of a survey by law firm BLM, commissioned to better understand the surge in fraudulent travel insurance claims.

BLM, the insurance fraud specialist firm, surveyed 2,000 consumers across the UK, and is calling for industry collaboration with the government to create an effective barrier to false claims.

“The research findings indicate that the public sees fraudulent insurance claims as a victimless crime, that is to say, they don’t see it as a crime at all,” says Rachel Keenan, Associate Solicitor at BLM in Belfast.  “The fact is however, that such claims do have victims.  The victims are the public themselves with the immediate impact of increased costs for the consumer and businesses, particularly local travel agents, who bear the brunt of claims made following accidents and illnesses that occur abroad, including food poisoning. Reform is critical; insurers, the travel industry and the government must work together and should look to measures introduced by government with regard to whiplash claims in 2013 to set standards and regulation in this area.”

Rachel also highlighted the rise in unscrupulous claims agencies who actively target holiday-makers as one particular area of concern.

“Despite current obstacles to tourism and travel, the industry is still booming with just 6% of consumers claiming to be less likely to travel now than they were last year[1]. Unfortunately, with a high number of holiday-goers comes a high number of cases of fraud.” she said.

“Fraud is, at its heart, a consumer issue; however, we are finding that the increase in fraudulent claims is being driven by rogue claims management companies who are targeting holiday makers. Our own research has shown that 5% of consumers have received unsolicited calls by claims agencies on their return from an all-inclusive holiday,

“The cost of insurance claims to the travel industry is significant, and these startling findings suggest that a high percentage of this cost could be as a result of fraudulent claims. Allowing fraud to continue in this way means that the annual amount incurred by travel agencies, tour operators and hotels due to false claims will continue to be severe, and has the potential to be damaging to businesses. .

“In order to support the industry, it is necessary to address the root cause of travel insurance fraud, which in our experience is directly linked to claims agencies,” she concluded.