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Money Matters

Regulars | By ​Margaret Dibben

Insurance fraudsters claim millions

British holidaymakers abroad have made so many fraudulent claims for non-existent tummy bugs that hotels and tour operators are fighting back. Now the government has stepped in to help. Spurious sickness claims, mostly from people on all-inclusive package holidays, have risen 500 per cent in the past four years, even though holiday resorts say sickness levels are stable and tourists from other countries rarely succumb. This summer, Thomas Cook successfully defended a claim from a couple for £10,000 for gippy tummies after staying in the Canaries three years earlier. They did not mention being ill at the time and returned to work the day after they got home. More significantly, in the first case of its kind, another family faces criminal charges after claiming £52,000 for food poisoning after two holidays in Majorca. If found guilty, they could face prison sentences. The government agrees that the sickness-claims culture must stop...

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