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ABTA warns Brit holidaymakers about bogus food poisoning claims

Spain beach hotelThe Association of British Travel Agents has issued a warning saying holidaymakers could be jailed for making phony insurance claims. The warning comes hot on the heels of news that the number of Brits on package holidays abroad making claims for food poisoning has reached epidemic proportions.

Figures for the past 12 months show a surge in claims for food poisoning by Britons who have been on package holidays. This is in spite of the fact there has been no increase in the numbers of people seeking treatment from their hotels, hospitals or medical clinics.

ABTA notes the problem seems to be restricted to Brits abroad. In a statement, the association claims the scam works better with holidaymakers on all-inclusive package deals as they can say they only dined at their hotels.

ABTA CEO Mark Tanzer says the issue is one of the most serious the UK’s travel industry has faced in recent years. He carried on by saying Brits needed to be aware that making fraudulent claims, or padding compensation claims out, could land them in jail.

Mr Tanzer says ABTA has inaugurated Stop Sickness Scams and will ask Parliament to plug the legal loophole which allows false claimants and law firms to reap rewards. He finished off by saying those with genuine claims would benefit as they would be treated seriously and not get bogged down in a system swamped with false litigation.

UK holiday operators like TUI and Thomas Cook say false insurance claims are out of control and are likely to spell the death knell for package holidays abroad. There are already signs that hotels and holiday firms are starting to bite back. One case in the courts at present involves a Greek hotel countersuing a British couple for £170,000 after they lodged a claim for £10,000 for alleged food-poisoning.

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