Why we need to Stop Sickness Scams
- Claims for holiday sickness have increased by an average 500% in the last few years, despite no increase in reported sickness levels in overseas resorts. The impact of these claims is hugely damaging: if claims continue on this scale, the price of holidays will be impacted, while hoteliers have said they will stop offering all-inclusive holidays to British tourists. Holidaymakers who make fake claims may also end up being prosecuted in the UK and overseas courts.
- The rise in claims is driven by the activities of Claims Management Companies, who have previously been focused on other areas including road traffic accidents (whiplash claims). This is largely because of a change in the law in 2012/13 that reduced the incentives to pursue whiplash claims by fixing legal costs involved in defending claims. However, this reform excluded holiday sickness claims because these occur overseas; even though consumers are able to pursue their UK-based travel companies.
What we hope to achieve through the campaign
- The campaign is asking MPs to support simple amendments to government regulation to enable holiday sickness claims to be included in personal injury claims covered through the fixed costs regime.
- This simple step is a way to begin to reduce the problem of fake sickness claims.
- The campaign will also raise awareness among consumers of the potential consequences of making false sickness claims, which includes the possibility of prosecution in the UK or overseas courts.
- Finally, we will also urge the Government to continue with wider reforms to the personal injury regime which will provide a longer-term solution.