As some Spanish hotels crack down on Brits making fraudulent claims of food poisoning and other illnesses, a leading local law firm has advice for travellers.
Recent news headlines have claimed that a growing market of false insurance claims at some all-inclusive Spanish resorts cost hoteliers some £52 million last year alone and is leading to calls to ban Brits from some resorts.
However, Peterborough-based Buckles Solicitors LLP are warning local holidaymakers against being tempted by the insurance scammers – in what is being labelled ‘the next big thing after PPI’.
Buckles Associate and Personal Injury specialist Martin Herson said: “It has been very clear from the stories in the national media that there has been a huge rise in claims of holiday sickness / food poisoning – with some all-inclusive resorts having insurance agents sitting in hotel reception areas or even on the Beach enticing holiday makers to “sign up” to make claims.
Sadly, it is a fact that, as well as genuine cases, there are many false and fraudulent claims sold to and run by Claims Management Companies that are tarring all holiday makers – particularly those with a genuine claim – with the same brush.
So, what is the best advice for going abroad this summer?
“If you are unfortunate enough to become ill on holiday, there are a few things to remember before you can consider making a legitimate claim on your return home. You will have had to book with a UK agent or operator in order that the UK has legal jurisdiction – making a claim directly with an overseas hotel or agent can be a long and challenging process. Secondly, claims really only relate to all-inclusive holidays. If you are half board for example, proving the illness was caused by a specific hotel when also eating out will be extremely difficult”
Before you travel, ensure you have adequate insurance and read up on the details of how to claim if you need to.
If you become ill on holiday; log the dates, keep a record of all correspondence at the time, get a signed and dated doctor’s certificate, keep records of any purchase of medication.
Keep an email record – even if it is on your phone – of any sequence of events surrounding the illness.
If your claim is centred about a hygiene issues, take video or photographic evidence.
Martin added: “Make sure all the records and written evidence are obtained at the time of the illness or injury as it will hold little weight.”
“Tour Operators are rightly attempting to clamp down on fraudulent claims. We will all suffer from higher prices if this continues. However, this should not dissuade a genuine person from seeking access to justice and receive appropriate compensation.”